The Challenge: Little is known about how people's perceptions of park quality are related to their physical activity and health.
Make an impact: Improving park quality could be an effective way to help children and families be more physically active.
What the findings are about: This study surveyed people who lived near parks and examined whether their perceptions of neighborhood park quality were associated with their overall moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, physical activity occurring in parks, and body mass index.
Key Findings and Recommendations:
Residents' perceptions of neighborhood park quality were related to physical activity and health outcomes.
Those who had higher ratings tended to participate in higher levels of overall moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, were more active in parks during the week, and had a lower body mass index.
Researchers, city planners, and others concerned with the relationship between parks and health should consider the effects of residents' perceptions of parks, in addition to objective park characteristics.