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Does parkland influence walking? The relationship between area of parkland and walking trips in Melbourne, Australia

King, Tania L., Thornton, Lukar E., Bently, Rebecca J. and Kavanagh, Anne M. 2012, Does parkland influence walking? The relationship between area of parkland and walking trips in Melbourne, Australia, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 9, no. Article no. 115, pp. 1-9.

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Title Does parkland influence walking? The relationship between area of parkland and walking trips in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) King, Tania L.
Thornton, Lukar E.
Bently, Rebecca J.
Kavanagh, Anne M.
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 9
Issue number Article no. 115
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1479-5868
Keyword(s) Walking frequency
Multilevel
GIS
Park proximity
Park area
Summary Background : Using two different measures of park area, at three buffer distances, we sought to investigate the ways in which park area and proximity to parks, are related to the frequency of walking (for all purposes) in Australian adults. Little previous research has been conducted in this area, and results of existing research have been mixed.

Methods : Residents of 50 urban areas in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia completed a physical activity survey (n = 2305). Respondents reported how often they walked for >=10 minutes in the previous month. Walking frequency was dichotomised to 'less than weekly' (less than 1/week) and 'at least weekly' (1/week or more). Using Geographic Information Systems, Euclidean buffers were created around each respondent's home at three distances: 400metres (m), 800 m and 1200 m. Total area of parkland in each person's buffer was calculated for the three buffers. Additionally, total area of 'larger parks', (park space >= park with Australian Rules Football oval (17,862 m2)), was calculated for each set of buffers. Area of park was categorised into tertiles for area of all parks, and area of larger parks (the lowest tertile was used as the reference category). Multilevel logistic regression, with individuals nested within areas, was used to estimate the effect of area of parkland on walking frequency.

Results : No statistically significant associations were found between walking frequency and park area (total and large parks) within 400 m of respondent's homes. For total park area within 800 m, the odds of walking at least weekly were lower for those in the mid (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.46-0.91) and highest (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.44-0.95) tertile of park area compared to those living in areas with the least amount of park area. Similar results were observed for total park area in the 1200 m buffers. When only larger parks were investigated, again more frequent walking was less likely when respondents had access to a greater amount of park area.

Conclusions : In this study we found that more park area in residential environments reduced the odds of walking more frequently. Other area characteristics such as street connectivity and destinations may underlay these associations by negatively correlating with park area.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Biomed Central
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30048902

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.