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Article

A Cross-Sectional Investigation of the Importance of Park Features for Promoting Regular Physical Activity in Parks

1
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
2
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, Geelong 3220, Australia
3
Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne 3000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(11), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111335
Received: 15 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Introduction: Parks in the US and Australia are generally underutilised, and park visitors typically engage in low levels of physical activity (PA). Better understanding park features that may encourage visitors to be active is important. This study examined the perceived importance of park features for encouraging park-based PA and examined differences by sex, age, parental-status and participation in PA. Methods: Cross-sectional surveys were completed by local residents (n = 2775) living near two parks (2013/2015). Demographic variables, park visitation and leisure-time PA were self-reported, respondents rated the importance of 20 park features for encouraging park-based PA in the next fortnight. Chi-square tests of independence examined differences in importance of park features for PA among sub-groups of local residents (sex, age, parental-status, PA). Results: Park features ranked most important for park-based PA were: well maintained (96.2%), feel safe (95.4%), relaxing atmosphere (91.2%), easy to get to (91.7%), and shady trees (90.3%). All subgroups ranked ‘well maintained’ as most important. Conclusions: Natural and built environment features of parks are important for promoting adults’ park-based PA, and should be considered in park (re)design. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; park features; park use; adults physical activity; park features; park use; adults
MDPI and ACS Style

Costigan, S.A.; Veitch, J.; Crawford, D.; Carver, A.; Timperio, A. A Cross-Sectional Investigation of the Importance of Park Features for Promoting Regular Physical Activity in Parks. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111335

AMA Style

Costigan SA, Veitch J, Crawford D, Carver A, Timperio A. A Cross-Sectional Investigation of the Importance of Park Features for Promoting Regular Physical Activity in Parks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2017; 14(11):1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111335

Chicago/Turabian Style

Costigan, Sarah A., Jenny Veitch, David Crawford, Alison Carver, and Anna Timperio. 2017. "A Cross-Sectional Investigation of the Importance of Park Features for Promoting Regular Physical Activity in Parks" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14, no. 11: 1335. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111335

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