Greenway Siting and Design: Relationships With Physical Activity Behaviors and User Characteristics

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Greenways (GW) can be sited and designed in a variety of ways. However, the extent to which siting and design relate to GW user’s demographic characteristics and physical activity (PA) is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare 2 GWs that differed in terms of their siting and design, with respect to the aforementioned variables.

Methods:

A trail intercept survey measuring PA, modes of GW access, and demographics was administered on 2 GWs (GWlinear vs. GWloop), which varied in siting and design characteristics.

Results:

GWlinear (n = 216), compared with GWloop users (n = 400), accumulated significantly greater volumes of PA from both accessing and using the GW (P = .012). GWlinear users were more likely to be younger, male, and never married; they were also more likely to engage in transportational PA (10.6 vs. 0.3%, P ≤ .001) and access the GW via active transit modes (37.0% vs. 4.2%, P ≤ .001).

Conclusions:

GW siting and design appears to be related to user characteristics, and the types and volumes of PA performed. These results should be considered by GW planners and designers to best serve the PA needs of the community.

Wolff-Hughes (dana.wolff@nih.gov), Fitzhugh, and Bassett are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sports Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Cherry is with the Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.