Associations between park features and adolescent park use for physical activity

Edwards, N, Hooper, P, Knuiman, M, Foster, S and Giles-Corti, B 2015, 'Associations between park features and adolescent park use for physical activity', International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, vol. 12, no. 1, 21, pp. 1-10.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Associations between park features and adolescent park use for physical activity
Author(s) Edwards, N
Hooper, P
Knuiman, M
Foster, S
Giles-Corti, B
Year 2015
Journal name International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume number 12
Issue number 1
Article Number 21
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BioMed Central
Abstract Background: Eighty per cent of adolescents globally do insufficient physical activity. Parks are a popular place for adolescents to be active. However, little is known about which park features are associated with higher levels of park use by adolescents. Objectives: This study aimed to examine which environmental park features, and combination of features, were correlated with higher levels of park use for physical activity among adolescents. By examining park features in parks used by adolescents for physical activity, this study also aimed to create a park 'attractiveness' score predictive of adolescent park use, and to identify factors that might predict use of their closest park. Methods: Adolescents (n = 1304) living in Geraldton, a large rural centre of Western Australia, completed a survey that measured physical activity behaviour, perceptions of park availability and the main park used for physical activity. All parks in the study area (n = 58) were digitized using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and features audited using the Public Open Space Desktop Auditing Tool (POSDAT). Results: Only 27% of participants reported using their closest park for physical activity. Park use was associated with seven features: presence of a skate park, walking paths, barbeques, picnic table, public access toilets, lighting around courts and equipment and number of trees >25. When combined to create an overall attractiveness score, every additional 'attractive' feature present, resulted in a park being nearly three times more likely to be in the high use category. Conclusions: To increase park use for physical activity, urban planners and designers should incorporate park features attractive to adolescents.
Subject Epidemiology
Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Adolescents
Built environment
GIS
Park quality
Parks
Physical activity
DOI - identifier 10.1186/s12966-015-0178-4
Copyright notice © 2015 Edwards et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
ISSN 1479-5868
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