Parks provide many outdoor recreation opportunities that encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and research has recently begun to explore the demographic, social, and environmental factors associated with park-based activity levels, particularly outside of urban areas. This study used a mixed methods approach to investigate physical activity levels and correlates among demographically diverse state park visitors in Georgia. Data were collected during summer 2010 via onsite intercept surveys (n = 1,073) and structured observations of visitor behavior (n = 9,453 individuals observed). Analyses revealed substantial levels of activity during park visits and highlighted links between socially oriented recreation participation and park-based physical activity, particularly for Latinos and African Americans. Results could provide park managers with insightful information for promoting and sustaining park-based physical activity across diverse communities.
Larson, Lincoln.; Whiting, Jason W.; Green, Gary T.; Bowker, J.M. 2014. Physical activity levels and preferences of ethnically diverse visitors to Georgia State Parks. Journal of Leisure Research 46(5): 540-562. 23 p.