Exercise Spaces in Parks for Older Adults: A Qualitative Investigation

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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In response to demographic changes in recent years, an increasing number of parks have established exercise spaces for older adults. However, limited research has been conducted to investigate how older adults utilize, experience, and perceive these spaces. This study aims to explore their experiences of using these spaces and their perspectives on these spaces by using a qualitative descriptive research design. In-depth interviews were conducted with 32 users in three Hong Kong parks with low, medium, and high area-based socioeconomic statuses. The findings highlight that exercise spaces in parks can cultivate a positive environment allowing older adults with varying physical abilities and health statuses to remain active together as well as to support each other socially and emotionally in a natural outdoor setting. The participants’ perspectives on the exercise space discussed in this study suggest that future plans for constructing such spaces in parks might benefit from a co-design approach.

Lee and Ho are with the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Ho is also with the Centre on Behavioral Health and Sau Po Centre on Ageing, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.

Ho (tinho@hku.hk) is corresponding author.
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