Active use of parks in Flanders (Belgium): an exploratory observational study
Van Hecke, Linde, Van Cauwenberg, Jelle, Clarys, Peter, Van Dyck, Delfien, Veitch, Jenny and Deforche, Benedicte 2017, Active use of parks in Flanders (Belgium): an exploratory observational study, International journal of environmental research and public health, vol. 14, no. 1, Article number: 35, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.3390/ijerph14010035.
Parks have the potential to increase physical activity at the community level by providing opportunities to be active. In order to inform interventions to promote physical activity in parks, insight is needed concerning park user characteristics, the activity level of park users, the types of activities performed and associations between park areas and temporal variables with observed physical activity levels. Park user characteristics (sex, age, ethnicity and activity level) were recorded within pre-defined park areas in two parks in Ghent (Belgium) using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC). Most park users were male, adult, and engaged in vigorous-intensity physical activity (48%). Most popular activities were biking (38%), sitting (23%) and walking (15%); accordingly, trails were used most and had the highest levels of physical activity compared to other park areas. Parks were used least frequently in the morning, during the weekend and by seniors. Therefore, active park use during morning periods, on weekend days and by seniors should be promoted and urban planners should consider that different park areas can possibly elicit varying activity levels among park users.
Field of Research
111708 Health and Community Services
Socio Economic Objective
920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
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