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Ann Behav Med. 2013 Feb;45 Suppl 1:S39-48. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9448-4.

Perceptions of neighborhood park quality: associations with physical activity and body mass index.

Author information

1
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, University of Missouri, 105 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Parks are important resources for physical activity (PA), yet few studies have examined how perceptions of park characteristics relate to PA and health.

PURPOSE:

This study investigated associations between perceptions of neighborhood park quality and overall moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), park-based PA, and body mass index (BMI).

METHODS:

Data were collected via questionnaire from 893 households in Kansas City, Missouri.

RESULTS:

The newly developed neighborhood park quality scale demonstrated good test-retest and internal reliability. Residents' perceptions of neighborhood park quality were related to PA and health outcomes. Perceiving parks as a benefit was positively related to overall MVPA and park-based PA and negatively related to BMI. Perceptions of well-used parks were positively related to BMI, while perceived cleanliness was negatively related to park-based PA.

CONCLUSIONS:

Better measuring and understanding how perceptions of local parks are associated with PA and health can improve appreciation of how parks facilitate active living.

PMID:
23334770
DOI:
10.1007/s12160-012-9448-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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