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Examining health-related effects of refurbishment to parks in a lower socioeconomic area: the shadeplus natural experiment

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posted on 01.01.2020, 00:00 authored by S J Dobbinson, J Simmons, J A Chamberlain, R J Macinnis, Jo SalmonJo Salmon, Petra StaigerPetra Staiger, M Wakefield, Jenny VeitchJenny Veitch
Degraded parks in disadvantaged areas are underutilized for recreation, which may impact long-term health. Using a natural experiment, we examined the effects of local government refurbishments to parks (n = 3 intervention; n = 3 comparison) in low socioeconomic areas (LSEA) of Melbourne on park use, health behavior, social engagement and psychological well-being. Amenities promoting physical activity and sun protection included walking paths, playground equipment and built shade. Outcomes were measured via systematic observations, and self-report surveys of park visitors over three years. The refurbishments significantly increased park use, while shade use increased only in parks with shade sails. A trend for increased social engagement was also detected. Findings infer improvement of quality, number and type of amenities in degraded parks can substantially increase park use in LSEA. Findings support provision of shade over well-designed playgrounds in future park refurbishments to enhance engagement and sun protection behavior. Further research should identify park amenities to increase physical activity

History

Journal

International journal of environmental research and public health

Volume

17

Issue

17

Article number

6102

Pagination

1 - 21

Publisher

MDPI

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal