Assessing the Influence of Visitors’ Sociodemographic and Trip Characteristics on Physical Activity Intensities in Alt Pirineu Natural Park, Spain

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health

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Estela Farías-Torbidoni
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Demir Barić
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Sebastià Mas-Alòs
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Background: Protected natural areas provide a promising opportunity for improving healthy life habits through engagement in a variety of physical activities (PAs). As visitors to protected natural areas do not behave as a homogenous group, it is necessary to better understand the association between their characteristics and the level of activities engaged in. Using Alt Pirineu Natural Park (Spain) as a case study, the purpose of this work is to examine the influence of visitors’ sociodemographic and trip characteristics on the likelihood of the visitors engaging in distinct PA intensities. Methods: Data were systematically collected from visitors (N = 1427) by means of self-administered questionnaires using a face-to-face approach. Results: To identify distinct groups of PA intensities reported activities of visitors were classified following the Compendium of PA and metabolic equivalent consumption. Three groups were identified and labeled as follows: light PA group (16.8%), moderate PA group (63.9%), and vigorous PA group (19.3%). A logistic regression analysis indicated that the capacity of selected descriptors to predict group membership was positively associated with the increment in PA intensities. Conclusion: The study findings may aid park managers in developing effective management strategies for promoting health-enhancing PA in protected natural areas.

Farías-Torbidoni is with GISEAFE Research Group, National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida (UdL), Catalonia, Spain. Barić is with the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida (UdL), Catalonia, Spain. Mas-Alòs is with Human Movement Research Group, National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida, Lleida (UdL), Catalonia, Spain.

Farías-Torbidoni (efarias@inefc.es) is corresponding author.
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