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The relationship of volunteerism to the physical activity and health of older adults in a metropolitan park settingAuthor(s): Julie S. Son; Andrew J. Mowen; Deborah L. Kerstetter
Source: In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 350-354.
Publication Series: General Technical Report - Proceedings
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (119.16 KB)
DescriptionVolunteers are an important resource to park districts. However, it is less clear how well park districts benefit the health and well-being of their volunteers. The objectives of the current study were: 1) to try to replicate findings of positive relationships of volunteering to physical health and physical activity, and 2) to extend previous research to examine the relationships of the characteristics of volunteerism to health and physical activity. Two hundred seventy-one volunteers and visitors at a Midwestern park district aged 50 and older comprised the sample. Results suggest that park volunteers had better physical health than non-volunteers and that volunteer physical activity level was significantly related to both physical health and leisure-time physical activity. Qualitative findings also suggest that some park volunteers valued park volunteer opportunities for physical activity. Taken altogether, these results indicate that park districts should try to match volunteers based on their interests in health-promoting volunteer opportunities.
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CitationSon, Julie S.; Mowen, Andrew J.; Kerstetter, Deborah L. 2007. The relationship of volunteerism to the physical activity and health of older adults in a metropolitan park setting. In: Burns, R.; Robinson, K., comps. Proceedings of the 2006 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 2006 April 9-11; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-14. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 350-354.
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