Why neighborhood park proximity is not associated with total physical activity

Health Place. 2018 Jul;52:163-169. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.05.011. Epub 2018 Jun 9.


This study explored how parks within the home neighborhood contribute to total physical activity (PA) by isolating park-related PA. Seattle-area adults (n = 634) were observed using time-matched accelerometer, Global Positioning System (GPS), and travel diary instruments. Of the average 42.3 min of daily total PA, only 11% was related to parks. Both home neighborhood park count and area were associated with park-based PA, but not with PA that occurred elsewhere, which comprised 89% of total PA. This study demonstrates clear benefits of neighborhood parks for contributing to park-based PA while helping explain why proximity to parks is rarely associated with overall PA.

Keywords: Built environment; Green space; Recreation; Social determinants of health; Urban planning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Environment Design
  • Exercise*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Parks, Recreational*
  • Public Facilities
  • Recreation
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Travel
  • Urban Population
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data
  • Washington / epidemiology