Association Between Physical Activity in Parks and Perceived Environment: A Study With Adolescents

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between adolescents’ physical activity practice and their perception about the environment of urban parks.

Methods:

A school-based representative sample (n = 1,718; boys = 40.4%) of teenagers of Curitiba, Southern region of Brazil. A questionnaire was employed to identify perceived parks environmental features as well as physical activity practice in the parks (PAP), habitual physical activity (HPA) and demographics. The relationship between PAP and parks environments was analyzed through multivariate logistic regression controlling for age and socioeconomic status, HPA and parks distance.

Results:

After controlling for confounders PAP was associated with lack of space to be physically active, activities to choose from and equipments for both boys and girls, (odds ratio (OR)—ranging from 1.5 to 1.8). Among boys, having people of same age (OR = 1.5) and accessibility (OR = 2.0) showed association with PAP only in crude analysis. However, among girls, to be bulled or teased (OR = 1.4) and accessibility (OR = 1.7) were associated with PAP after confounding control.

Conclusions:

The results showed that specific attributes in parks may be considered and offered to increase the likelihood of physical activity practice among adolescents in such locations.

Reis, Hino, and Añez are with the Physical Activity and Quality of Life Research Group, Pontific Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil. Florindo is with the School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Domingues is with the Master Program of Population Health, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos Rodrigo Siqueira Reis Rua Petit Carneiro, Paraná, Brazil.