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An Introduction to Parks, Recreation, and Public Health: Collaborative Frameworks for Promoting Physical Activity

John Librett, Karla Henderson, Geoffrey Godbey, and James R. Morrow Jr.

The purpose of parks and recreation as well as public health is to seek the highest possible quality of life for individuals and communities. Unfortunately, little discourse has occurred between the parks and recreation and public health professions. This missed opportunity has resulted in an incomplete understanding of the spectrum of issues shared by the fields, a slow transdisciplinary learning curve, and a dearth of knowledge-based linkages between science and practice. The goal of the 2006 Cooper Institute Conference on Parks, Recreation, and Public Health: Collaborative Frameworks for Promoting Physical Activity was to highlight opportunities and advance cooperation between parks, recreation, and public health researchers and practitioners that result in collaborations that influence public health decisions at the macro (agency) and micro (individual) levels. This article introduces the discussion on scientific and practice issues in parks, recreation, and public health. By establishing a baseline of frameworks for strengthening collaboration we hope to improve the health and quality of life through parks and recreation-based physical activity.

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Descriptive Epidemiology of Campus Recreation Injuries

Jenna Morogiello, Rebekah Roessler, and Maddison Flowers

.1 million students across 700 campuses. 4 This growth in campus recreation programming may be in part due to an increased focus on wellness within college students. 5 The associated level of physical activity from campus recreation participation has substantial health benefits both psychologically and

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Associations Between Neighborhood Recreation Environments and Adolescent Physical Activity

Kavita A. Gavand, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, Brian E. Saelens, Lawrence D. Frank, Jacqueline Kerr, Karen Glanz, and James F. Sallis

study. 5 A review showed that home neighborhood characteristics related to walkability, traffic speed/volume, access/proximity to recreation facilities, land use mix, and residential density were consistent environmental correlates of PA of children and/or adolescents. 6 Furthermore, greater access to

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Improving Student Interview Preparation Through Collaborative Multimodal Mock-Interview Assignments

Emeka Anaza, Paul Mabrey, Mikihiro Sato, Olivia Miller, and Julia Thompson

One primary purpose of colleges and universities is to prepare students for postgraduation careers, or the “real world.” Many students who enroll in the sport and recreation management (SRM) program indicate that they aspire to careers in sport and its related industries upon graduation ( Barnhill

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“It’s Hard When People Try and Get Their Kids Away From Cole”: A Family’s Experiences of (In)dignity in Leisure Settings

Kassi A. Boyd and Donna L. Goodwin

recreation professionals. Note 1. An inquiry paradigm defines what falls within and without of legitimate inquiry. The beliefs that define paradigms are in the appearance of ontology which asks what is the form or the nature of reality or what can be known, epistemology or what is the nature of the

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High-Tech Video Capture and Analysis for Counting Park Users

Richard R. Suminski, Gregory M. Dominick, Philip Saponaro, Elizabeth M. Orsega-Smith, Eric Plautz, and Matthew Saponaro

including PA. The System for Observing Play and Active Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) is the most widely used tool for assessing park use ( Evenson, Jones, Holliday, Cohen & McKenzie, 2016 ; McKenzie, 2016 ). It uses momentary time sampling in which trained observers scan pre-defined, “target” areas of

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Intensity-Specific Leisure-Time Physical Activity and The Built Environment Among Brazilian Adults: A Best-Fit Model

Deborah Salvo, Rodrigo S. Reis, Adriano A.F. Hino, Pedro C. Hallal, and Michael Pratt


There is little understanding about which sets of environmental features could simultaneously predict intensity-specific leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among Brazilians. The objectives were to identify the environmental correlates for intensity-specific LTPA, and to build the best-fit linear models to predict intensity-specific LTPA among adults of Curitiba, Brazil.


Cross sectional study in Curitiba, Brazil (2009, n = 1461). The International Physical Activity Questionnaire and Abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Assessment Scale were used. Ninety-two perceived environment variables were categorized in 10 domains. LTPA was classified as walking for leisure (LWLK), moderate-intensity leisure-time PA (MLPA), vigorous-intensity leisure-time PA (VLPA), and moderate-to-vigorous intensity leisure-time PA (MVLPA). Best fitting linear predictive models were built.


Forty environmental variables were correlated to at least 1 LTPA outcome. The variability explained by the 4 best-fit models ranged from 17% (MLPA) to 46% (MVLPA). All models contained recreation areas and aesthetics variables; none included residential density predictors. At least 1 neighborhood satisfaction variable was present in each of the intensity-specific models, but not for overall MVLPA.


This study demonstrates the simultaneous effect of sets of perceived environmental features on intensity-specific LTPA among Brazilian adults. The differences found compared with high-income countries suggest caution in generalizing results across settings.

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Associations Between Social and Physical Environments and Older Adults’ Walking for Transportation and Recreation

Ka Man Leung and Pak-Kwong Chung

satisfaction with public transport are positively related to walking for transportation ( Cerin et al., 2017 ). The number of shops is positively related to walking for recreation, whereas feeling unsafe is negatively related ( Van Cauwenberg, Clarys, et al., 2012 ). Clearly, different physical

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Women and the Meanings of Physical Recreation

Karla A. Henderson and M. Deborah Bialeschki

The purpose of this research was to explore the meanings of women’s involvement in physical recreation. Although much has been written about girls’ and women’s involvement in competitive athletics, less is known about the everyday physical involvement of women who are committed to fitness activities, recreational sports, and/or outdoor activities. Data from indepth interviews were collected from 29 participants in physical activity. A process of “constant comparison” was used to develop conclusions about the social psychological meanings of physical recreation. Physical recreation was analyzed in relation to three themes: the setting and structures associated with physical activity, the worth of physical activity, and the means for negotiating opportunities for participation. The gendered meanings associated with physical recreation provided further social psychological and sociological understandings of the recreation choices and multilayered reality of women’s lives.

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Validating and Shortening the Environmental Assessment of Public Recreation Spaces Observational Measure

Carrie M. Geremia, Kelli L. Cain, Terry L. Conway, James F. Sallis, and Brian E. Saelens

There is considerable interest in the built environment factors that facilitate engagement in positive health behaviors such as physical activity (PA), with a growing recognition of the potential importance of parks and other public recreation spaces to encourage PA. 1 – 3 Substantial amounts of