Background: Public parks are an important resource for the promotion of physical activity (PA). This is the first study in Colombia and the fourth in Latin America to describe the characteristics of park users and their levels of PA using objective measures. Methods: A systematic observation assessed sex, age, and the level of PA of users of 10 parks in an intermediate-size city in Colombia, classified in low (5 parks) and high (5 parks) socioeconomic status (SES). A total of 10 daily observations were conducted, in 5 days of the week during 3 periods: morning, afternoon, and evening. Results: In total, 16,671 observations were completed, recording 46,047 users. A higher number of users per park, per day, were recorded in high SES (1195) versus low SES (647). More men were observed in low-SES than high-SES parks (70.1% vs 54.2%), as well as more children were observed in low-SES than high-SES parks (30.1% vs 15.9%). Older adults in high-SES parks were more frequent (9.5% vs 5.2%). Moderate to vigorous PA was higher in low-SES parks (71.7% vs 63.2%). Conclusions: Low-SES parks need more green spaces, walk/bike trails, and areas for PA. All parks need new programs to increase the number of users and their PA level, considering sex, age group, and period of the week.
Diana Marina Camargo, Paula Camila Ramírez, Vanesa Quiroga, Paola Ríos, Rogério César Férmino and Olga L. Sarmiento
Silvia A. González, Maria A Castiblanco, Luis F. Arias-Gómez, Andrea Martinez-Ospina, Daniel D. Cohen, Gustavo A. Holguin, Adriana Almanza, Diana Marina Camargo Lemos, Jorge Enrique Correa-Bautista, Iván D. Escobar, Johnattan García, Rocio Gámez, Mauricio Garzon, Yaneth Herazo Beltrán, Hernan Hurtado, Oscar Lozano, Diana C. Páez, Robinson Ramírez-Vélez, Nubia Ruiz, Gustavo Tovar and Olga L. Sarmiento
Physical activity (PA) is vital to the holistic development of young people. Regular participation in PA is associated with substantial benefits for health, cognitive function, and social inclusion. Recognizing the potential of PA in the context of the current peace process in Colombia, the purpose of this article is to present the methodology and results of Colombia’s second Report Card on PA for children and youth.
A group of experts on PA graded 14 PA indicators based on data from national surveys and policy documents.
National and departmental policy indicators received a grade of B, while organized sport participation, overweight, obesity, community influence, and nongovernment initiatives indicators received a grade of C. Overall PA levels, active transportation, sedentary behaviors, and school influence received a grade of D. Active play, low physical fitness, and family influence received an Incomplete grade.
PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high in Colombian children and youth, with notable geographic differences. A broad policy framework translated into specific actions could provide unique opportunities to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, and contribute to social integration goals in a postconflict setting.