Contribution of park visits to daily physical activity levels among older adults: Evidence using GPS and accelerometery data

Guillem Vich*, Xavier Delclòs-Alió, Monika Maciejewska, Oriol Marquet, Jasper Schipperijn, Carme Miralles-Guasch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Engaging in physical activity plays a vital role in a healthy ageing process due to its associated mental and physical health benefits. Green spaces such as parks or public gardens are safe, accessible, and attractive environments that generally allow people to engage in physical activity. Therefore, residing in neighbourhoods that are well provided with greenness has been associated with improvements of both mental and physical health. However, very few studies have explored the association between visiting green spaces with the overall daily physical activity of older adults. Using GPS data, the present study explores accelerometer-measured daily physical activity levels of 181 older adults residing in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region, Spain, in relation to their visits to green spaces. The results show how visiting green spaces has a positive relationship with the daily accumulated physical activity levels of older adults, but not with their sedentary activity levels. Moreover, the duration of each visit did not show a significant association with either physical activities or sedentary activities. These findings can inform urban planning and design policies that are aimed at improving the provision of green spaces, by highlighting the importance of considering the demographics of potential users and the spatial accessibility of these spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127225
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Volume63
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Accelerometers
  • GPS
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Urban green spaces

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