Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jan 4;13(1). pii: E97. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13010097.

A Walk in the Park: The Influence of Urban Parks and Community Violence on Physical Activity in Chelsea, MA.

Author information

1
Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA. jou@bu.edu.
2
Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA. jonlevy@bu.edu.
3
Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA. petersj@bu.edu.
4
Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea, MA 02150, USA. Roseannb@chelseacollab.org.
5
Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea, MA 02150, USA. Jgarciasoto@grassrootsonline.org.
6
Chelsea Collaborative, Chelsea, MA 02150, USA. rafaelmariomedina@gmail.com.
7
Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA 02118, USA. mls@bu.edu.

Abstract

Proximity to a park does not necessarily imply access or use, and the social environment may positively or negatively influence the positive intentions of the built environment. To investigate parks, park use and physical activity, and their associations with exposure to community violence, we interviewed residents (n = 354) of a densely populated urban community. Our findings indicate that proximity to any park is not associated with physical activity. However, proximity to the preferred park reported by residents to be conducive for physical activity (with walking paths, large fields, playgrounds for children and tennis courts) was associated with physical activity. Conversely, knowledge of sexual assault or rape in the neighborhood is inversely associated with every type of physical activity (park-based, outdoor, and indoor). Our findings suggest that improvements to the built environment (parks, green spaces) may be hindered by adverse social environments and both are necessary for consideration in the design of public health interventions.

KEYWORDS:

Latino; built environment; parks; physical activity; safety; urban environment

PMID:
26742051
PMCID:
PMC4730488
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph13010097
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center