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Deborah A. Cohen, Bing Han, Sujeong Park, Stephanie Williamson, and Kathryn P. Derose

likely play a role in that relaxation, TV watching, and other passive sedentary behaviors may be prioritized over outdoor leisure activities. Although previous research has uncovered patterns of and barriers to park-based physical activities based on income, gender, and age separately ( Carlson, Brooks

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Ariane L. Rung, Andrew J. Mowen, Stephanie T. Broyles, and Jeanette Gustat

Background:

Neighborhood parks play an important role in promoting physical activity. We examined the effect of activity area, condition, and presence of supporting features on number of park users and park-based physical activity levels.

Methods:

37 parks and 154 activity areas within parks were assessed during summer 2008 for their features and park-based physical activity. Outcomes included any park use, number of park users, mean and total energy expenditure. Independent variables included type and condition of activity area, supporting features, size of activity area, gender, and day of week. Multilevel models controlled for clustering of observations at activity area and park levels.

Results:

Type of activity area was associated with number of park users, mean and total energy expenditure, with basketball courts having the highest number of users and total energy expenditure, and playgrounds having the highest mean energy expenditure. Condition of activity areas was positively associated with number of basketball court users and inversely associated with number of green space users and total green space energy expenditure. Various supporting features were both positively and negatively associated with each outcome.

Conclusions:

This study provides evidence regarding characteristics of parks that can contribute to achieving physical activity goals within recreational spaces.

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Deborah A. Cohen, Bing Han, Jennifer Isacoff, Bianca Shulaker, Stephanie Williamson, Terry Marsh, Thomas L. McKenzie, Megan Weir, and Rajiv Bhatia

Background:

Given the concerns about low rates of physical activity among low-income minority youth, many communitybased organizations are investing in the creation or renovation of public parks to encourage youth to become more physically active. To what degree park renovations accomplish this goal is not known.

Methods:

We used the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) to measure park users and their physical activity levels before and after 2 parks were renovated. We compared findings with 4 parks: 2 that were unrenovated parks and 2 that were undergoing renovation. We also surveyed park users and local residents about their use of the parks.

Results:

Compared with parks that had not yet been renovated, the improved parks saw more than a doubling in the number of visitors and a substantial increase in energy expended in the parks. Increased park use was pronounced in adults and children, but was not seen in teens and seniors. Park renovations were associated with a significantly increased perception of park safety.

Conclusions:

Park improvements can have a significant impact on increasing park use and local physical activity.

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Noah Wexler, Yingling Fan, Kirti V. Das, and Simone French

Background: Neighborhood parks are important locations to encourage and stimulate physical activity (PA) among the urban population. This study aims to evaluate the impact of an informational intervention on adult park use and PA behaviors in 3 low-income, racially diverse urban neighborhoods in Minneapolis, MN. Method: The study employed a household-level randomized controlled trial and collected baseline and follow-up data from 171 participants. Within each neighborhood, participants were randomized to an informational intervention or to a no-intervention comparison. Intervention households received monthly, neighborhood-specific newsletters about park-based PA opportunities, park program brochures, trail maps, and activity guides. Results: The average treatment effect of the newsletter intervention was positive yet moderated by respondent age. For a 20-year-old resident, treatment was associated with 0.97 (P < .05) additional park visits and 31.24 (P < .05) additional minutes of park-based PA over a 3-day recall period. For 40-year-old respondents, these positive effects are smaller at 0.36 (P < .05) additional visits and 4.66 (P < .05) additional minutes, respectively. Conclusions: An intervention to increase awareness about park-based PA opportunities and benefits increased self-reported park visits and in-park PA among adults who lived in low-income, racially diverse neighborhoods.

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Lisa Groshong, Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Andrew T. Kaczynski, J. Aaron Hipp, and Gina M. Besenyi

Background:

Public parks hold promise for promoting population-level PA, but studies show a significant portion of park use is sedentary. Past research has documented the effectiveness of message-based strategies for influencing diverse behaviors in park settings and for increasing PA in nonpark contexts. Therefore, to inform message-based interventions (eg, point-ofdecision prompts) to increase park-based PA, the purpose of this study was to elicit insights about key attitudes, perceived norms, and personal agency that affect park use and park-based PA in low-income urban neighborhoods.

Methods:

This study used 6 focus groups with youth and adults (n = 41) from low-income urban areas in Kansas City, MO, to examine perceptions of key attitudinal outcomes and motivations, perceived norms, key referents, and personal agency facilitators and constraints that affect park use and park-based PA.

Results:

Participant attitudes reflected the importance of parks for mental and physical health, with social interaction and solitude cited as key motivations. Of 10 themes regarding perceived norms, influential others reflected participants’ ethnic makeup but little consensus emerged among groups. Social and safety themes were cited as both facilitators and constraints, along with park offerings and setting.

Conclusions:

Information about attitudes, perceived norms, and personal agency can increase understanding of theoretically derived factors that influence park-based PA and help park and health professionals create communication strategies to promote PA.

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Andrea Richardson, Bing Han, Stephanie Williamson, and Deborah Cohen

, lack generalizability, or do not consider indirect pathways. Furthermore, given well-recognized disparities in park-based physical activity by age, gender, and activity type, 17 the factors that may draw users to parks may differ across people subgroups and activity type. We used data from the

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Hannah E. Kling, Emily M. D’Agostino, Ja’mese Booth, Eric Hansen, Emily Hawver, M. Sunil Mathew, and Sarah E. Messiah

nurse support: The PACE-UP three-arm cluster RCT . Health Technology Assessment (Winchester, England), 22 ( 37 ). doi:10.3310/hta22370 Joseph , R.P. , & Maddock , J.E. ( 2016 ). Observational park-based physical activity studies: A systematic review of the literature . Preventive Medicine, 89

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Joseph T. Walker, Andrew J. Mowen, William W. Hendricks, Judy Kruger, James R. Morrow Jr., and Kelly Bricker

Background:

The Physical Activity in Parks Setting (PA-PS) instrument is a series of survey questions designed by a consortium of public health and leisure research scholars to gauge park-based physical activity for use in civilian, noninstitutionalized populations. This paper introduces this self-reported instrument and provides test-retest reliability results.

Methods:

Data to test the instrument reliability were collected during 2 waves in 2008 through the California Outdoor Recreation Opinions and Attitudes Telephone Survey. To conduct test-retest reliability we examined the agreement between 100 randomly reselected respondents from the first wave of respondents (n = 2004) that answered the same survey within 21 to 30 days of the initial administration.

Results:

The reliability of measures that categorized individual park use and visitation with others provided moderate levels of agreement (Kappa = 0.44 to 0.64). Questions about park features, facilities and amenity use, and specific park-based physical activity participation were of fair to substantial agreement (Kappa = 0.21 to 0.90) depending on the item in question.

Conclusion:

The results from these test-retest reliability analyses suggest the PA-PS items were reliable and should be considered in future population surveys that assess park visitation patterns and park-based physical activity levels.

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Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Ingrid E. Schneider, and Mark A. Pereira

Background:

Public parks are increasingly recognized as important places that facilitate physical activity. Despite the presence of parks, constraints to recreation and physical activity at parks exist. As the health benefits identified with physical activity require long-term and regular activity, it is important to examine factors pertaining to physical activity participation beyond initiation. This study explored differences in reported constraints to park based physical activity and negotiation strategies by physical activity stage of change.

Methods:

Data were collected among visitors to one Minnesota state park via onsite and follow-up questionnaires.

Results:

The average visitor had a healthier weight than the average U.S. and Minnesota adult and the majority of visitors were meeting the physical activity recommendations (86.4%). Respondents in the inactive/insufficient stages were more constrained and used fewer negotiation strategies than respondents in the maintenance stage.

Conclusions:

Results both support and expand on previous research findings. Specifically, this study supports research which indicates the adoption and maintenance of physical activity are influenced by different individual, social and environmental factors, and expands the research base by examining constraints and negotiation at different physical activity stages in a park setting. Implications of these findings provide directions for future stage-based intervention efforts.

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S. Morgan Hughey, Marilyn E. Wende, Ellen W. Stowe, Andrew T. Kaczynski, Jasper Schipperijn, and J. Aaron Hipp

park-based physical activity: variations by gender and age . Leis Sci . 2009 ; 31 ( 2 ): 174 – 191 . doi:10.1080/01490400802686045 10.1080/01490400802686045 16. Schipperijn J , Cerin E , Adams MA , et al . Access to parks and physical activity: an eight country comparison . Urban For Urban