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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1444-1464; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201444
Article

Understanding Older Adults’ Usage of Community Green Spaces in Taipei, Taiwan

1
, 1
, 1,2
, 1
, 1
 and 1,*
1 Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 3-300 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, Avenue 11405-87, Edmonton, AL T6G 1C9, Canada 2 Pratt Institute, New York, NY 10011, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 September 2013 / Revised: 20 January 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
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Abstract

As the world’s population ages, there is an increasing need for community environments to support physical activity and social connections for older adults. This exploratory study sought to better understand older adults’ usage and perceptions of community green spaces in Taipei, Taiwan, through direct observations of seven green spaces and nineteen structured interviews. Descriptive statistics from observations using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) confirm that older adults use Taipei’s parks extensively. Our analyses of interviews support the following recommendations for age-friendly active living initiatives for older adults: make green spaces accessible to older adults; organize a variety of structured activities that appeal to older adults particularly in the morning; equip green spaces for age-appropriate physical activity; and, promote the health advantages of green spaces to older adults.
Keywords: older adults; green spaces; parks; seniors; interviews; System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC); age-friendly; physical activity older adults; green spaces; parks; seniors; interviews; System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC); age-friendly; physical activity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pleson, E.; Nieuwendyk, L.M.; Lee, K.K.; Chaddah, A.; Nykiforuk, C.I.J.; Schopflocher, D. Understanding Older Adults’ Usage of Community Green Spaces in Taipei, Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 1444-1464.

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