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Open AccessArticle

Planning for Supportive Green Spaces in the Winter City of China: Linking Exercise of Elderly Residents and Exercise Prescription for Cardiovascular Health

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 3 and 1,2,*
1
School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2
Key Laboratory of Cold Region Urban and Rural Human Settlement Environment Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Harbin 150001, China
3
Department of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165762
Received: 9 July 2020 / Revised: 27 July 2020 / Accepted: 31 July 2020 / Published: 10 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Spaces and Public Health)
The elderly population have a high incidence of cardiovascular disease and are the main users of green spaces, such as city parks. Creating supportive green spaces for exercise for the elderly is of great significance to promote their cardiovascular health. The winter cities have a severely cold climate and high incidence of cardiovascular disease, while the elderly, especially those with cardiovascular disease, face more challenges when participating in exercise in the green spaces. In the context of the winter cities, the kinds of exercise the elderly participate in are more conducive to their cardiovascular health, and determining the factors of the green spaces that are supportive for exercise for cardiovascular health in the winter are of particular interest. Taking Harbin, a typical winter city in China, as an example, this study aims to identify the exercise characteristics of elderly residents in the green spaces in winter, to link them with the principles and contents of exercise prescription for cardiovascular health, to identify the deficient factors of the green spaces in supporting exercise for cardiovascular health, and to put forward optimization design implications. Mixed qualitative methods including interviews, a questionnaire, and field observation were used to identify special behavioral characteristics and spatial factors involving winter exercise in the green spaces among the elderly. The results showed that: (1) about 42.4% of the participants had a gap with the principles of exercise prescription for cardiovascular health. Their exercise items were generally consistent with the principle of low-intensity exercise, but some of them had the problems regarding early exercise time and insufficient exercise duration and frequency. (2) Insufficient supportive factors of the green spaces mainly included facilities allocation, comfort, safety, accessibility, and air quality. Facilities allocation involved walking paths, rehabilitation facilities, auxiliary facilities, and guidance facilities; comfort involved sunlight conditions of the exercise areas; safety involved slippery roads and sites with ice and snow and medical accidents; accessibility involved the proximity, the safety of connecting roads, and the movement of the elderly; air quality involved the planting of evergreen trees. Accordingly, the design implications were given in order to bridge the supportive gap of the green spaces for exercise for cardiovascular health in the elderly population. View Full-Text
Keywords: winter city; green space; cardiovascular health; exercise prescription; exercise characteristics; the elderly winter city; green space; cardiovascular health; exercise prescription; exercise characteristics; the elderly
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leng, H.; Li, S.; Zhao, H.; Song, Y.; Yuan, Q. Planning for Supportive Green Spaces in the Winter City of China: Linking Exercise of Elderly Residents and Exercise Prescription for Cardiovascular Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5762. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165762

AMA Style

Leng H, Li S, Zhao H, Song Y, Yuan Q. Planning for Supportive Green Spaces in the Winter City of China: Linking Exercise of Elderly Residents and Exercise Prescription for Cardiovascular Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(16):5762. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165762

Chicago/Turabian Style

Leng, Hong; Li, Shuyuan; Zhao, Huimin; Song, Yan; Yuan, Qing. 2020. "Planning for Supportive Green Spaces in the Winter City of China: Linking Exercise of Elderly Residents and Exercise Prescription for Cardiovascular Health" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 16: 5762. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165762

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