Recreation, Parks, and the Public Health Agenda: Developing Collaborative Surveillance Frameworks to Measure Leisure Time Activity and Active Park Use

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The purposes of this study were to review surveillance of recreation and park use to determine adaptations for tracking leisure time physical activity and increasing collaboration to achieve public health goals.

Methods:

Surveillance in public health and parks and recreation and discussions at the 2006 Cooper Institute conference were reviewed.

Results:

This review suggested four actions to improve collaborative surveillance of leisure time physical activity and active park use. The proposals are to incorporate more detailed measures of leisure time physical activity and active park visits into park surveillance; include key park, recreation, and leisure items in public health surveillance; assess active park visits and leisure time physical activity more frequently; and establish public health physical activity objectives for parks and recreation and outdoor recreation participation.

Conclusions:

These proposals can facilitate collaboration between public health and parks and recreation and exploration of active park use and outdoor recreation in relation to health.

Kruger is with the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341. Mowen is with the Dept of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA16082. Librett is with the Center for Active Survivors, Park City, UT 84084. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the CDC.