Frequency of Neighborhood Park Use Is Associated With Physical Activity Among Adults in Four US Cities

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $117.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $156.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $222.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $296.00

Background: Neighborhood parks are recognized as important spaces for facilitating physical activity (PA); however, it remains unclear how the frequency of park use is associated with PA. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between minutes of moderate to vigorous PA and multiple park use indicators: (1) use of a neighborhood park, (2) unique number of neighborhood parks used, and (3) frequency of neighborhood park use. Methods: Adults were surveyed from 4 US cities (Brooklyn, NY; Greenville County, SC; Raleigh, NC; and Seattle, WA). Using a map-based survey platform, participants indicated all neighborhood parks they used and the frequency of use in the past 30 days. Participants self-reported their weekly moderate to vigorous PA. Quantile regression was used to examine associations between PA and park use indicators. Results: Of all respondents (N = 360), 60% indicated visiting a neighborhood park in the past 30 days, with an average of about 13 total neighborhood park visits (SD = 17.5). Significant, positive associations were found between moderate to vigorous PA and both unique neighborhood park visits and total number of neighborhood parks visits. Conclusions: Frequency of park visitation is associated with PA among US adults. Ensuring equitable and safe access to neighborhood parks has the potential for population-level PA health benefits.

Hughey is with the Department of Health and Human Performance, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA. Wende, Stowe, and Kaczynski are with the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA. Kaczynski is also with the Prevention Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA. Schipperijn is with the Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark. Hipp is with the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, USA; and the Center for Geospatial Analytics, NC State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Hughey (hugheysm@cofc.edu) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    United States Department of Health and Human Services. 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. Washington, DC: Author; 2008.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Guthold R, Stevens GA, Riley LM, Bull FC. Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1.9 million participants. Lancet Glob Health. 2018;6(10):e1077e1086. PubMed ID: 30193830 doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30357-7

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Community Preventive Services Task Force. Physical activity: built environment approaches combining transportation system interventions with land use and environmental design. 2016. https://www.thecommunityguide.org/sites/default/files/assets/PA-Built-Environments.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Xu J, Murphy SL, Kochanek KD, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2018. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2020:8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Going to a Park or Recreation Facility? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/parks-rec/index.html. Published June 9, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Bornstein DB, Pate RR, Buchner DM. Development of a national physical activity plan for the United States. J Phys Act Health. 2014;11(3):463469. PubMed ID: 24714332 doi:10.1123/jpah.2013-0358

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    World Health Organization. Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: more active people for a healthier world. –https://www.who.int/publications-detail-redirect/global-action-plan-on-physical-activity-2018–2030. Accessed June 24, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Trust for Public Land. 10 Minute walk. https://10minutewalk.org/. Accessed June 30, 2020.

  • 9.

    Bedimo-Rung AL, Mowen AJ, Cohen DA. The significance of parks to physical activity and public health: a conceptual model. Am J Prev Med. 2005;28(2)(suppl 2):159168. PubMed ID: 15694524 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2004.10.024

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Broyles ST, Mowen AJ, Theall KP, Gustat J, Rung AL. Integrating social capital into a park-use and active-living framework. Am J Prev Med. 2011;40(5):522529. PubMed ID: 21496751 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2010.12.028

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Wang X, Rodiek S, Wu C, Chen Y, Li Y. Stress recovery and restorative effects of viewing different urban park scenes in Shanghai, China. Urban For Urban Green. 2016;15:112122. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2015.12.003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Lachowycz K, Jones AP. Greenspace and obesity: a systematic review of the evidence. Obes Rev. 2011;12(5):e183e189. PubMed ID: 21348919 doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00827.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Ekkel ED, de Vries S. Nearby green space and human health: evaluating accessibility metrics. Landsc Urban Plan. 2017;157:214220. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.06.008

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Cohen D, Sehgal A, Williamson S, et al. . Park use and physical activity in a sample of public parks in the city of Los Angeles. http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/TR357/. Published online 2006. Accessed September 15, 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Kaczynski AT, Potwarka LR, Smale BJA, Havitz ME. Association of parkland proximity with neighborhood and park-based physical activity: variations by gender and age. Leis Sci. 2009;31(2):174191. doi:10.1080/01490400802686045

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Schipperijn J, Cerin E, Adams MA, et al. . Access to parks and physical activity: an eight country comparison. Urban For Urban Green. 2017;27:253263. PubMed ID: 29805351 doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2017.08.010

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Floyd MF, Bocarro JN, Smith WR, et al. . Park-based physical activity among children and adolescents. Am J Prev Med. 2011;41(3):258265. PubMed ID: 21855739 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2011.04.013

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Besenyi GM, Kaczynski AT, Wilhelm Stanis SA, Vaughan KB. Demographic variations in observed energy expenditure across park activity areas. Prev Med. 2013;56(1):7981. PubMed ID: 23068023 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.10.011

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Cohen DA, Han B, Nagel CJ, et al. . The first national study of neighborhood parks: implications for physical activity. Am J Prev Med. 2016;51(4):419426. PubMed ID: 27209496 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2016.03.021

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Kaczynski AT, Potwarka LR, Saelens BE. Association of park size, distance, and features with physical activity in neighborhood parks. Am J Public Health. 2008;98(8):1451. PubMed ID: 18556600 doi:10.2105/AJPH.2007.129064

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Marquet O, Aaron Hipp J, Alberico C, et al. . Park use preferences and physical activity among ethnic minority children in low-income neighborhoods in New York City. Urban For Urban Green. 2019;38:346353. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2019.01.018

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Kaczynski AT, Schipperijn J, Hipp JA, et al. . ParkIndex: development of a standardized metric of park access for research and planning. Prev Med. 2016;87:110114. PubMed ID: 26868092 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.02.012

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Austin G, Duncan MJ, Bell T. Codesigning parks for increasing park visits and physical activity in a low-socioeconomic community: the active by community design experience [published online ahead of print February 22, 2020]. Health Promot Pract. 2020. PubMed ID: 32088991 doi:10.1177/1524839919900768

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Kaczynski AT, Hughey SM, Stowe EW, et al. . ParkIndex: validation and application of a pragmatic measure of park access and use. Prev Med Reports. 2020;20:101218. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101218

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy places—parks, trails and health resources. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/parks_resources.htm. Published June 8, 2017. Accessed August 21, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Lee I-M. Dose–response relation between physical activity and fitness: even a little is good; more is better. JAMA. 2007;297(19):21372139. PubMed ID: 17507351 doi:10.1001/jama.297.19.2137

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    United States Census. 2011–2015 ACS 5-year estimates. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/technical-documentation/table-and-geography-changes/2015/5-year.html. Accessed June 30, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Kaczynski AT, Wilhelm Stanis SA, Besenyi GM. Development and testing of a community stakeholder park audit tool. Am J Prev Med. 2012;42(3):242249. PubMed ID: 22341161 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2011.10.018

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Lamoureux Z, Fast V. The tools of citizen science: an evaluation of map-based crowdsourcing platforms. Spat Knowl Inf Can. 2019;4(1):17.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Kaczynski AT, Besenyi GM, Stanis SAW, et al. . Are park proximity and park features related to park use and park-based physical activity among adults? Variations by multiple socio-demographic characteristics. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014;11(1):146. PubMed ID: 25480157 doi:10.1186/s12966-014-0146-4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Hughey SM, Kaczynski AT, Porter DE, Hibbert J, Turner-McGrievy G, Liu J. Development and testing of a multicomponent obesogenic built environment measure for youth using kernel density estimations. Health Place. 2019;56:174183. PubMed ID: 30785028 doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.01.011

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Craig CL, Marshall AL, Sjöström M, et al. . International physical activity questionnaire: 12-country reliability and validity. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(8):13811395. PubMed ID: 12900694 doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000078924.61453.FB

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Bauman A, Ainsworth BE, Bull F, et al. . Progress and pitfalls in the use of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) for adult physical activity surveillance. J Phys Act Health. 2009;6(suppl 1):S5S8. PubMed ID: 19998844 doi:10.1123/jpah.6.s1.s5

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Yu K, Lu Z, Stander J. Quantile regression: applications and current research areas. J R Stat Soc Ser Stat. 2003;52(3):331350. doi:10.1111/1467-9884.00363

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Cade BS, Noon BR. A gentle introduction to quantile regression for ecologists. Front Ecol Environ. 2003;1(8):412420. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2003)001[0412:AGITQR]2.0.CO;2

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    Veitch J, Ball K, Crawford D, Abbott G, Salmon J. Is park visitation associated with leisure-time and transportation physical activity? Prev Med. 2013;57(5):732734. PubMed ID: 23933224 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.08.001

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 37.

    Evenson KR, Wen F, Hillier A, Cohen DA. Assessing the contribution of parks to physical activity using GPS and accelerometry. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(10):19811987. PubMed ID: 23531716 doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318293330e

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 38.

    Orsega-Smith E, Mowen AJ, Payne LL, Godbey G. The interaction of stress and park use on psycho-physiological health in older adults. J Leis Res. 2004;36(2):232256. doi:10.1080/00222216.2004.11950021

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 39.

    Mowen A, Orsega-Smith E, Payne L, Ainsworth B, Godbey G. The role of park proximity and social support in shaping park visitation, physical activity, and perceived health among older adults. J Phys Act Health. 2007;4(2):167179. PubMed ID: 17570886 doi:10.1123/jpah.4.2.167

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 40.

    Han B, Cohen D, McKenzie TL. Quantifying the contribution of neighborhood parks to physical activity. Prev Med. 2013;57(5):483487. PubMed ID: 23827723 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.021

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 41.

    Blanck HM, Allen D, Bashir Z, et al. . Let’s go to the park today: the role of parks in obesity prevention and improving the public’s health. Child Obes. 2012;8(5):423428. PubMed ID: 23061497 doi:10.1089/chi.2012.0085.blan

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 42.

    Hughey SM, Kaczynski AT, Child S, Moore JB, Porter D, Hibbert J. Green and lean: Is neighborhood park and playground availability associated with youth obesity? Variations by gender, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity. Prev Med. 2017;95:S101S108. PubMed ID: 27932053 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.11.024

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 43.

    Hughey SM, Shulaker B, Mowen AJ, Kaczynski AT. Promoting physical activity in parks and recreation. In: Bornstein D, Eyler A, Maddock J, Moore J, eds. Physical Activity and Public Health Practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company; 2019.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 44.

    The Trust for Public Land. ParkServe®. https://www.tpl.org/parkserve. Accessed August 5, 2020.

  • 45.

    Oliphant EL, Hughey SM, Stowe EW, Kaczynski AT, Schipperijn J, Hipp JA. ParkIndex: using key informant interviews to inform the development of a new park access evaluation tool. J Park Recreat Admi. 2019;37(1):1–18. PubMed ID: 31692932 doi:10.18666/JPRA-2019-8926

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 46.

    Besenyi GM, Fair M, Hughey SM, et al. . Park Hop: pilot evaluation of an inter-agency collaboration to promote park awareness, visitation, and physical activity in Greenville County, SC. J Park Recreat Admi. 2015;33(4):6889. doi:10.18666/JPRA-2015-V33-I4-6216

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 47.

    Fair ML, Kaczynski AT, Hughey SM, Besenyi GM, Powers, AR. An initiative to facilitate park usage, discovery, and physical activity among children and adolescents in Greenville County, South Carolina, 2014. Prev Chronic Dis. 2017;14:160043. PubMed ID: 28182864 doi:10.5888/pcd14.160043

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 48.

    Cohen DA, Han B, Isacoff J, et al. . Impact of park renovations on park use and park-based physical activity. J Phys Act Health. 2015;12(2):289295. PubMed ID: 24956608 doi:10.1123/jpah.2013-0165

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 49.

    Veitch J, Ball K, Crawford D, Abbott GR, Salmon J. Park improvements and park activity: a natural experiment. Am J Prev Med. 2012;42(6):616619. PubMed ID: 22608379 doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2012.02.015

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 50.

    Kaczynski AT, Wilhelm Stanis SA, Hipp JA. Point-of-decision prompts for increasing park-based physical activity: a crowdsource analysis. Prev Med. 2014;69:8789. PubMed ID: 25204987 doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.08.029

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 51.

    Irvine KN, Warber SL, Devine-Wright P, Gaston KJ. Understanding urban green space as a health resource: a qualitative comparison of visit motivation and derived effects among park users in Sheffield, UK. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013;10(1):417442. PubMed ID: 23340602 doi:10.3390/ijerph10010417

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 52.

    Gibson SC. “Let’s go to the park.” An investigation of older adults in Australia and their motivations for park visitation. Landsc Urban Plan. 2018;180:234246. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.08.019

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 53.

    Cohen DA, Han B, Derose KP, et al. . Neighborhood poverty, park use, and park-based physical activity in a Southern California city. Soc Sci Med. 2012;75(12):23172325. PubMed ID: 23010338 doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.08.036

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 54.

    Day K. Active living and social justice: planning for physical activity in low-income, black, and Latino communities. J Am Plann Assoc. 2006;72(1):8899. doi:10.1080/01944360608976726

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 55.

    Michael YL, Yen IH. Aging and place–neighborhoods and health in a world growing older. J Aging Health. 2014;26(8):12511260. PubMed ID: 25502240 doi:10.1177/0898264314562148

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 261 261 67
Full Text Views 20 20 2
PDF Downloads 10 10 0