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  • Author: Claudia O. Alberico x
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Claudia O. Alberico, J. Aaron Hipp and Rodrigo S. Reis

Background: Socioeconomic characteristics of locations where physical activity equipment is installed may affect the activity level of users. The purpose of this study was to verify patterns of use and physical activity levels in fitness zones installed in low- and high-income neighborhoods in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. Methods: Over 1200 observations were conducted in 20 fitness zones in the city of Curitiba, Brazil. Data were collected during the months of November and December 2012, in 4 periods of the day (8 AM, 11 AM, 2 PM, and 5 PM), on 2 weekdays and 2 weekend days. Results: A total of 2232 people were observed in the fitness zones. Age group, level of physical activity in the area, use of fitness zones during weekend days, and occupation of spaces were significantly associated with neighborhood income. Moreover, users of fitness zones located in high-income neighborhoods showed higher odds ratio (OR = 1.74; 95% confidence interval, 1.46–2.07) of moderate to vigorous physical activity than light or sedentary activities, regardless of gender or day of the week. Conclusions: The sole presence of equipment does not seem to favor the use of fitness zones in low-income neighborhoods. Future studies should investigate intrinsic factors for the use of fitness zones for physical activity.