In an effort to encourage youth to acquire recommended levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), we need to examine affordances available to enhance opportunities. Included for consideration should be built environments such as swimming pools which can have significant impacts through leisure service delivery to promote active lifestyles. For this study, The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC), was employed at a traditional aquatic venue during July and August in the Midwestern region of the U.S. Data was collected on three physical activity postures for youths age 4 to 18 along with variables including: (a) age, (b) gender, (c) physical activity posture, and (d) areas of participation termed target areas. A total of 3780 observations were taken into account during analysis. To detect differences among key variables, One-Way ANOVA and t-tests were performed. Descriptive results indicated that MVPA accounted for 70% of activity in the aquatic venue. Overall, female youths generated more MVPA within target areas compared to males, and youth as a single group consistently scored higher in all target areas as well as overall in MVPA. Significant differences were discovered in relation to several target areas. Findings from the study indicate that the use of a traditional aquatic venue can have positive impacts on youth physical activity and assist in meeting national standards for daily requirements of MVPA. It is also indicated that design features of an aquatic venue can play a role in determining levels of engagement and physical activity.
Ramos, W. D., Chen, Y. L., & Kang, S. (2017). Physical activity levels and pattern of use for youth participants at a traditional aquatic venue. Preventive Medicine Reports, 6, 177–181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2017.02.014