Why neighborhood park proximity is not associated with total physical activity


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Abstract

This study explored how parks within the home neighborhood contribute to total physical activity (PA) by isolating park-related PA. Seattle-area adults (n = 634) were observed using time-matched accelerometer, Global Positioning System (GPS), and travel diary instruments. Of the average 42.3 min of daily total PA, only 11% was related to parks. Both home neighborhood park count and area were associated with park-based PA, but not with PA that occurred elsewhere, which comprised 89% of total PA. This study demonstrates clear benefits of neighborhood parks for contributing to park-based PA while helping explain why proximity to parks is rarely associated with overall PA.HighlightsWe isolated park-based PA using time-matched accelerometer, GPS, and travel diary data.Of the daily average 43 min of total PA, 11% were park-related.Home neighborhood park count and area were associated with park-based PA.Home neighborhood parks were not associated with the 89% of PA unrelated to park use.

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