Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 869–880 | Cite as

The Association Between Park Facilities and Duration of Physical Activity During Active Park Visits

  • Orion T. StewartEmail author
  • Anne Vernez Moudon
  • Alyson J. Littman
  • Edmund Seto
  • Brian E. Saelens


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.


Recreation 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).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Form LabUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Population Health ImprovementUniversity of CaliforniaSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.College of Built Environments Department of Urban Design and PlanningUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.School of Public Health Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  5. 5.School of Public Health Department of Environmental & Occupational Health SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Seattle Children’s Research InstituteSeattleUSA
  7. 7.School of Medicine Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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