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Physical activity of youth in non-urban parks: an observation-based assessmentAuthor(s): Lincoln R. Larson; Jason W. Whiting; Gary T. Green; J.M. Bowker
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
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DescriptionPublic parks play an important role in healthy, active living, but the extent to which parks influence the physical activity (PA) of diverse youth outside of urban areas has not been adequately explored. This study used systematic behavioural observations to examine demographic factors and environmental attributes associated with youth PA in non-urban state parks of Georgia, USA. Young park visitors (n = 9072) were observed in two zones: lakefront and trail/multi-use areas. A majority of youth (67.3%) were observed in a state of either moderate or vigorous physical activity. Demographic variables were associated with PA levels in each zone. In lakefront zones, males, younger children and African Americans were most likely to be active. Activity levels at trails and multi-use areas were highest for white youth and lowest for Latinos. As racial and ethnic diversity increases, efforts to encourage youth PA in park settings should account for distinct recreation preferences among different cultural groups.
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CitationLarson, Lincoln R.; Whiting, Jason W.; Green, Gary T.; Bowker, J.M. 2014. Physical activity of youth in non-urban parks: an observation-based assessment. Leisure/Loisir 38, 3-4: 225-232. (published online June 2015 in Oct 2014 issue). 8 p. DOI: 10.1080/14927713.2015.1042212
Keywordsadolescent health, child health, parks, physical activity/exercise, race/ethnicity
- Physical activity levels and preferences of ethnically diverse visitors to Georgia State Parks
- Contributions of non-urban state parks to youth physical activity: A case study in northern Georgia
- Physical activity locations in Georgia: frequency of use by socio-demographic group
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