Advertisement

Neighborhood Park Use by Children

Use of Accelerometry and Global Positioning Systems

      Background

      Although having a greater number of neighborhood parks may be associated with greater overall physical activity in children, information is lacking about the extent to which children actually use parks for physical activity.

      Purpose

      This study combined accelerometer, GPS, GIS, and self-report methods to examine neighborhood park availability, perceived proximity, and use for physical activity in children.

      Methods

      Low- to middle-income children (aged 8–14 years) (n=135) from suburban communities in Southern California wore an Actigraph accelerometer and GlobalSat BT-335 GPS device across 7 days to measure physical activity and park use, respectively. ArcGIS identified parks within a 500-m residential buffer of children’s homes. Parents reported perceptions of neighborhood park proximity through the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Survey (NEWS). Data were collected from March 2009 to December 2010, and analyzed in 2013.

      Results

      Fifty-four percent of families lived within 500 m of a park. Of these children, GPS data indicated that 16% used it more than 15 minutes and an additional 11% of children used it between 5 and 15 minutes during the 7-day study period. The odds of extended park use (>15 minutes) increased fourfold when the distance between home and the nearest neighborhood park decreased by 100 m. Additionally, the odds of any park use (>5 minutes) doubled when moving from the 25th to the 75th percentile for park greenness/vegetation density.

      Conclusions

      Although children’s use of neighborhood parks was generally low, it increased substantially when parks were closer to children’s homes and had greater vegetation density.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • World Health Organization
        2008–2013 Action plan for the global strategy for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
        WHO Press, Geneva2009 (: www.who.int/nmh/publications/9789241597418/en/)
        • National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.)
        Health, U.S., 2011: with special feature on socioeconomic status and health.
        National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.), Hyattsville MD2012 (: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK98752/)
        • Troiano R.P.
        • Berrigan D.
        • Dodd K.W.
        • Masse L.C.
        • Tilert T.
        • McDowell M.
        Physical activity in the U.S. measured by accelerometer.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008; 40: 181-188
        • Pate R.R.
        • Pratt M.
        • Blair S.N.
        • et al.
        Physical activity and public health—a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine.
        JAMA. 1995; 273: 402-407
        • Sothern M.S.
        • Loftin M.
        • Suskind R.M.
        • Udall J.N.
        • Blecker U.
        The health benefits of physical activity in children and adolescents: implications for chronic disease prevention.
        Eur J Pediatr. 1999; 158: 271-274
        • Strong W.B.
        • Malina R.M.
        • Blimkie C.J.R.
        • et al.
        Evidence based physical activity for school-age youth.
        J Pediatr. 2005; 146: 732-737
        • Lee I.M.
        • Shiroma E.J.
        • Lobelo F.
        • Puska P.
        • Blair S.N.
        • Katzmarzyk P.T.
        Effect of physical inactivity on major noncommunicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy.
        Lancet. 2012; 380: 219-229
        • Kaczynski A.T.
        • Henderson K.A.
        Parks and recreation settings and active living: a review of associations with physical activity function and intensity.
        J Phys Act Health. 2008; 5: 619-632
        • Blanck H.M.
        • Allen D.
        • Bashir Z.
        • et al.
        Let's go to the park today: the role of parks in obesity prevention and improving the public's health.
        Child Obes. 2012; 8: 423-428
        • Bauman A.E.
        • Reis R.S.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Wells J.C.
        • Loos R.J.F.
        • Martin B.W.
        Correlates of physical activity: why are some people physically active and others not?.
        Lancet. 2012; 380: 258-271
        • Ferdinand A.O.
        • Sen B.
        • Rahurkar S.
        • Engler S.
        • Menachemi N.
        The relationship between built environments and physical activity: a systematic review.
        Am J Public Health. 2012; 102: e7-e13
      1. Cohen DA, Ashwood JS, Scott MM, et al. Public parks and physical activity among adolescent girls. Pediatrics 2006;118(5):E1381–E1389

        • Babey S.H.
        • Hastert T.A.
        • Yu H.
        • Brown E.R.
        Physical activity among adolescents: when do parks matter?.
        Am J Prev Med. 2008; 34: 345-348
        • Roux A.V.D.
        • Mair C.
        Neighborhoods and health.
        in: Adler N.E. Stewart J. Biology of disadvantage: socioeconomic status and health. Wiley-Blackwell, Malden MA2010: 125-145
        • Kwan M.P.
        The uncertain geographic context problem.
        Ann Assoc Am Geogr. 2012; 102: 958-968
        • Inagami S.
        • Cohen D.A.
        • Finch B.K.
        Nonresidential neighborhood exposures suppress neighborhood effects on self-rated health.
        Soc Sci Med. 2007; 65: 1779-1791
        • Black J.L.
        • Macinko J.
        Neighborhoods and obesity.
        Nutr Rev. 2008; 66: 2-20
        • Wilks D.C.
        • Besson H.
        • Lindroos A.K.
        • Ekelund U.
        Objectively measured physical activity and obesity prevention in children, adolescents and adults: a systematic review of prospective studies.
        Obes Rev. 2011; 12: e119-e129
        • McCormack G.R.
        • Rock M.
        • Toohey A.M.
        • Hignell D.
        Characteristics of urban parks associated with park use and physical activity: a review of qualitative research.
        Health Place. 2010; 16: 712-726
        • Bai H.
        • Stanis S.A.W.
        • Kaczynski A.T.
        • Besenyi G.M.
        Perceptions of neighborhood park quality: associations with physical activity and body mass index.
        Ann Behav Med. 2013; 45: S39-S48
        • Edwards N.J.
        • Giles-Corti B.
        • Larson A.
        • Beesley B.
        The effect of proximity on park and beach use and physical activity among rural adolescents.
        J Phys Act Health. 2013; (. (E-pub ahead of print: PMID: 23493147))
        • Kaczynski A.T.
        • Potwarka L.R.
        • Smale B.J.A.
        • Havitz M.E.
        Association of parkland proximity with neighborhood and park-based physical activity: variations by gender and age.
        Leisure Sci. 2009; 31: 174-191
        • Quigg R.
        • Gray A.
        • Reeder A.I.
        • Holt A.
        • Waters D.L.
        Using accelerometers and GPS units to identify the proportion of daily physical activity located in parks with playgrounds in New Zealand children.
        Prev Med. 2010; 50: 235-240
        • Lachowycz K.
        • Jones A.P.
        • Page A.S.
        • Wheeler B.W.
        • Cooper A.R.
        What can global positioning systems tell us about the contribution of different types of urban greenspace to children’s physical activity?.
        Health Place. 2012; 18: 586-594
        • Wheeler B.W.
        • Cooper A.R.
        • Page A.S.
        • Jago R.
        Greenspace and children’s physical activity: a GPS/GIS analysis of the PEACH project.
        Prev Med. 2010; 51: 148-152
        • Dunton G.F.
        • Liao Y.
        • Almanza E.
        • et al.
        Joint physical activity and sedentary behavior in parent-child pairs.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012; 44: 1473-1480
        • Dunton G.F.
        • Liao Y.
        • Almanza E.
        • Jerrett M.
        • Spruijt-Metz D.
        • Pentz M.A.
        Locations of joint physical activity in parent-child pairs based on accelerometer and GPS monitoring.
        Ann Behav Med. 2013; 45: S162-S172
        • Wolch J.
        • Jerrett M.
        • Reynolds K.
        • et al.
        Childhood obesity and proximity to urban parks and recreational resources: a longitudinal cohort study.
        Health Place. 2010; 17: 207-214
        • ESRI
        ArcGIS Desktop: release 10.
        Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redlands CA2010
        • Saelens B.E.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Black J.B.
        • Chen D.
        Neighborhood-based differences in physical activity: an environment scale evaluation.
        Am J Public Health. 2003; 93: 1552-1558
        • Adams M.A.
        • Ryan S.
        • Kerr J.
        • et al.
        Validation of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) items using geographic information systems.
        J Phys Act Health. 2009; 6: S113-S123
        • Cerin E.
        • Conway T.L.
        • Saelens B.E.
        • Frank L.D.
        • Sallis J.F.
        Cross-validation of the factorial structure of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) and its abbreviated form (NEWS-A).
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys. 2009; 6: 32
        • Cerin E.
        • Saelens B.E.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Frank L.D.
        Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale: validity and development of a short form.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006; 38: 1682-1691
      2. GlobalSat. GlobalSat Technology Corp. Taiwan, BT-335. 2009. www.usglobalsat.com/store/download/44/bt335_ds_ug.pdf.

        • Freedson P.S.
        • Melanson E.
        • Sirard J.
        Calibration of the Computer Science and Applications, Inc. accelerometer.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998; 30: 777-781
        • Freedson P.
        • Pober D.
        • Janz K.F.
        Calibration of accelerometer output for children.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37: S523-S530
        • Harrell J.S.
        • McMurray R.G.
        • Baggett C.D.
        • Pennell M.L.
        • Pearce P.F.
        • Bangdiwala S.I.
        Energy costs of physical activities in children and adolescents.
        Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005; 37: 329-336
      3. Roemmich JN, Clark PA, Walter K, Patrie J, Weltman A, Rogol AD. Pubertal alterations in growth and body composition, V: Energy expenditure, adiposity, and fat distribution. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2000;279(6):E1426–E1436

        • Cohen W.B.
        • Goward S.N.
        Landsat’s role in ecological applications of remote sensing.
        Bioscience. 2004; 54: 535-545
        • Almanza E.
        • Jerrett M.
        • Dunton G.
        • Seto E.
        • Ann Pentz M.
        A study of community design, greenness, and physical activity in children using satellite, GPS and accelerometer data.
        Health Place. 2012; 18: 46-54
        • Cain K.L.
        • Sallis J.F.
        • Conway T.L.
        • Van Dyck D.
        • Calhoon L.
        Using accelerometers in youth physical activity studies: a review of methods.
        J Phys Act Health. 2013; 10: 437-450
        • Coombes E.
        • van Sluijs E.
        • Jones A.
        Is environmental setting associated with the intensity and duration of children's physical activity? Findings from the SPEEDY GPS study.
        Health Place. 2013; 20: 62-65
        • Boone-Heinonen J.
        • Guilkey D.K.
        • Evenson K.R.
        • Gordon-Larsen P.
        Residential self-selection bias in the estimation of built environment effects on physical activity between adolescence and young adulthood.
        Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010; 7: 70
        • Mokhtarian P.L.
        • Cao X.Y.
        Examining the impacts of residential self-selection on travel behavior: a focus on methodologies.
        Transp Res B Method. 2008; 42: 204-228
        • Kaczynski A.T.
        • Mowen A.J.
        Does self-selection influence the relationship between park availability and physical activity?.
        Prev Med. 2011; 52: 23-25