Background: Protected areas are important attractions for promoting healthy life habits. Consequently, to date, a number of studies have examined the association between visitors’ characteristics and physical activities. However, little is known about the specific users inclined exclusively to have sedentary behavior during a visit. Thus, using the Alt Pirineu Natural Park (Spain) as a case study, the aim of this study is to determine the influence of sociodemographic, trip, motivational, and opinion descriptors on the likelihood of participating in sedentary behavior while visiting a protected natural area. Methods: The data used were randomly collected from visitors through an onsite structured questionnaire (N = 628). Results: Metabolic equivalent consumption was used to empirically distinguish the sedentary (22.6%) from the active (77.4%) visitor groups. A logistic regression analysis indicated that the trip and motivational descriptors explained the highest degree of the overall variation in reporting sedentary behavior. Conclusion: The study contributed to documenting the information about visitors’ behavior in protected areas, and the findings may aid park managers in developing effective management strategies for promoting and enhancing physical activity in protected natural areas.
Estela Farías-Torbidoni and Demir Barić
Estela Farías-Torbidoni, Demir Barić and Sebastià Mas-Alòs
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.