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Open AccessArticle

Youth and Adult Visitation and Physical Activity Intensity at Rural and Urban Parks

Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Grand Forks, ND 58203-9034, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081760
Received: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 15 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Physical Activity and Public Health)
Less physical activity among rural residents may contribute to rural-urban health disparities. Parks can be ideal community resources for promoting physical activity. This study compared park visitation and activity intensity at 15 urban and 15 rural parks matched for acreage and amenities. Parks were observed in the morning, afternoon, and evening on 4 days to determine number of visitors, activity intensity, and amenity use. A total of 5486 visitors were observed with no differences in percentages of males (55.5% vs. 53.9%) and females (44.5% vs. 46.1%) or percentages of weekday (82.4% vs. 81.9%) and weekend (17.6% vs. 18.1%) visitors. The probability of visitors sitting was greater and in moderate intensity activity lower at rural parks. A greater proportion of children (25.0% vs. 14.5%) in rural parks, and teens in urban parks (8.0% vs. 69.6%), were observed on sport fields. A greater proportion of adults in urban areas (12.5% vs. 46.0%) were observed spectating sports. Greater proportions of rural children (10.9% vs. 3.5%), teens (34.1% vs. 12.4%), and adults (38.9% vs. 10.1%) were observed using shelters. Thus, when similar amenities are available, rural and urban parks are used differently, especially by youth. The urban park study results cannot be wholly applied to rural parks. View Full-Text
Keywords: built environment; exercise; children; adolescents; adults; physical activity; rural; urban built environment; exercise; children; adolescents; adults; physical activity; rural; urban
MDPI and ACS Style

Roemmich, J.N.; Johnson, L.; Oberg, G.; Beeler, J.E.; Ufholz, K.E. Youth and Adult Visitation and Physical Activity Intensity at Rural and Urban Parks. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1760.

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