The Association Between Park Facilities and Duration of Physical Activity During Active Park Visits
Public parks provide places for urban residents to obtain physical activity (PA), which is associated with numerous health benefits. Adding facilities to existing parks could be a cost-effective approach to increase the duration of PA that occurs during park visits. Using objectively measured PA and comprehensively measured park visit data among an urban community-dwelling sample of adults, we tested the association between the variety of park facilities that directly support PA and the duration of PA during park visits where any PA occurred. Cross-classified multilevel models were used to account for the clustering of park visits (n = 1553) within individuals (n = 372) and parks (n = 233). Each additional different PA facility at a park was independently associated with a 6.8% longer duration of PA bouts that included light-intensity activity, and an 8.7% longer duration of moderate to vigorous PA time. Findings from this study are consistent with the hypothesis that more PA facilities increase the amount of PA that visitors obtain while already active at a park.
KeywordsRecreation GIS GPS Accelerometer Built environment
Research reported in this article was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (award R01HL091881).
- 1.US Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical activity guidelines for Americans. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC. 2008. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed 25 Feb 2014.
- 4.US National Physical Activity Plan Coordinating Committee. National Physical Activity Plan. 2010. http://www.physicalactivityplan.org/NationalPhysicalActivityPlan.pdf. Accessed 23 Sep 2013.
- 10.Kaczynski AT, Havitz ME. Examining the relationship between proximal park features and residents’ physical activity in neighborhood parks. J Park Recreat Admi. 2009;27(3):42–58.Google Scholar
- 16.Moudon AV, Saelens BE, Rutherford S, Hallenbeck M. A report on participant sampling and recruitment for travel and physical activity. Transportation Northwest Regional Center X (TransNow), University of Washington. 2009. http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/31000/31700/31738/VernezMoudon_EffectofLight_Rail.pdf. Accessed May 05 2014.
- 24.Godbey G, Mowen A. The benefits of physical activity provided by park and recreation services: the scientific evidence. Ashburn, VA: National Recreation and Park Association; 2010.Google Scholar
- 26.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Global Historical Climatology Network-Daily. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-daily/. Accessed August 01 2014.
- 29.Beretvas SN, Meyers JL, Rodriguez RA. The cross-classified multilevel measurement model: an explanation and demonstration. J Appl Meas. 2005;6(3):322–41.Google Scholar
- 30.Leckie G. Cross-classified multilevel models. LEMMA VLE Module. 2013;12:1–60. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/learning/course.html. Accessed 20 Sep 2014.