Evaluating the quality and accessibility of physical activity resources in two southern cities

Heather J. Adamus, Scherezade K. Mama, Iman Sahnoune, Rebecca E. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Access and quality of physical activity resources (PARs) influence physical activity (PA) participation. This study examined the type, size, accessibility, features, amenities, and incivilities of PARs in two cities. Design: Researchers identified all PARs within an 800-meter radius of the homes of participants from a larger study. Each PAR was evaluated by a trained assessor. Setting: PARs were evaluated in Houston and Austin, Texas. Patients: The final sample included 1326 PARs in Houston and 297 in Austin, Texas. Measures: The 2010 Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA), a direct-observation audit tool, was used to assess the type, size, accessibility, features, amenities, and incivilities of a PAR. Analysis: Both t-tests and analyses of variance were used to determine differences in features, amenities, and incivilities by city, type, and accessibility. Results: Houston PARs had greater amenities (t[421] = 4.445; p <.001) and fewer incivilities (t[371] = 26.89; p <.001) than Austin PARs. Combination resources had the highest score for features (M = 9.94; standard deviation [SD] = 5.62); fitness clubs had the highest score for amenities (M = 17.06; SD = 5.27); and trails had the most incivilities (M 5 4.23; SD = 4.88). Free PARs had greater features (F[3, 1509] = 16.87; p <.001), amenities (F[3, 1500] = 3.13; p =.025), and incivilities (F[3, 1540] = 21.97; p <.001) than pay for use PARs. Conclusion: Improvements to quality and maintenance of existing free PARs may be an economical strategy to increase PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-54
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Environment
  • Fitness centers/methods
  • Physical activity
  • Prevention research
  • Recreation
  • Residence characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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