Environmental and social correlates of physical activity in neighborhood parks: An observational study in Tampa and Chicago

Myron Floyd, J. O. Spengler, Jay Maddock, Paul Gobster, Luis Suau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study used observational methods to examine physical activity (PA) and selected correlates in 28 parks in Tampa, Florida, and Chicago, Illinois. We observed 9,454 park users within predetermined activity zones and coded their activity as sedentary, walking (i.e., moderate intensity), or vigorous PA. In Tampa, higher temperature, unorganized activity, lower amounts of shade, lower neighborhood income, Hispanic neighborhood ethnicity, male gender and child age group were significantly associated with walking. Vigorous activity was not associated with income and ethnicity. Morning hours, unorganized activity, lower neighborhood income and African American neighborhood ethnicity were associated with walking in Chicago. Vigorous activity was associated with children, lower neighborhood income and African American ethnicity. Findings from this study can inform policy decisions and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-375
Number of pages16
JournalLeisure Sciences
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Keywords

  • Active living
  • Built environment
  • Health benefits
  • Neighborhood diversity
  • Observational methods
  • SOPLAY
  • Urban parks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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