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Environmental correlates of physical activity: A review of evidence about parks and recreation

by A T Kaczynski, K A Henderson
Leisure Sciences ()

Abstract

Research on physical activity (PA) has expanded in recent years to examine environmental influences that enhance or limit the opportunities people have to be active. The purpose of this study was to review and critically examine evidence related to parks and recreation as features of the built environment and the relationship of these settings to PA. Fifty studies were retrieved from four major databases that reported an empirical relationship between parks or recreation variables and PA variables. Mixed associations with PA were observed for different types of parks or recreation settings, while proximity to parks or recreation was generally associated with increased PA. Shortcomings exist in this literature and many opportunities for researching parks, recreation, and active living are evident for the future.

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