Skip to Main Content
Physical activity and the recreation opportunity spectrum: differences in important site attributes and perceived constraintsAuthor(s): S.A. Wilhelm Stanis; I.E. Schneider; K.J. Sinew; D.J. Chavez; M.C. Vogel
Source: Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 27(4): 73-91
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: View PDF (294.63 KB)
DescriptionBoth legislation and professional organizations call for parks and recreation agencies to address the need for greater physical activity among those living in the United States. A greater understanding of factors that facilitate and constrain physical activity in parks and recreation areas may improve agencies’ ability to address obesity and sedentary lifestyles. This paper examines potential differences in factors that influence physical activity between visitors to two parts of the recreation opportunity spectrum: urban and semi-primitive non-motorized (SPNM) sites in the United States. Specifically, visitors to urban and SPNM sites were compared in terms of their perceptions of site attributes important for physical activity as well as constraints to physical activity. Onsite questionnaires were administered to visitors across six sites in three states. Two sites, one urban and one SPNM, were selected in and around each of the following metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; and Minneapolis, MN. Findings revealed both similarities and differences between urban and SPNM visitors on visitor and visit characteristics, site attributes important for physical activity and constraints to physical activity. The results from this comparison point to opportunities for recreation managers and planners across the recreation opportunity spectrum. First, the promotion of management approaches for physical activity can vary across the recreation opportunity spectrum for maximum effectiveness. Second, the identified site attributes important for and constraints to physical activity suggest opportunities for physical activity site design, visitor programs, and inter-agency coordination. Finally, as the majority of visitors reported visiting the area to do something physically active, recreation professionals at both opportunity areas are encouraged to coordinate or continue coordinated efforts with public health resources. Given the number of citizens that are overweight and obese, combining the resources and efforts of both recreation and public health professionals can increase efficiency and is essential across the recreation opportunity spectrum.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWilhelm Stanis, S.A.; Schneider, I.E.; Sinew, K.J.; Chavez, D.J.; Vogel, M.C. 2009. Physical activity and the recreation opportunity spectrum: differences in important site attributes and perceived constraints. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 27(4): 73-91
Keywordshealth, exercise, leisure, parks, public land, urban, semi-primitive nonmotorized
- Visitor constraints to physical activity in park and recreation areas: differences by race and ethnicity
- Physical activity among Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino white visitors to urban-proximate public lands
- Relationships between motivations, activities and settings: the recreation opportunity spectrum within the Delaware State Park system
XML: View XML