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An Initiative to Facilitate Park Usage, Discovery, and Physical Activity Among Children and Adolescents in Greenville County, South Carolina, 2014
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    28182864
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5303655
  • Description:
    Introduction

    Parks are important settings for increasing population-level physical activity (PA). The objective of this study was to evaluate Park Hop, an incentivized scavenger-hunt–style intervention designed to influence park usage, discovery, park-based PA, and perceptions of parks among children and adolescents in Greenville County, South Carolina.

    Methods

    We used 2 data collection methods: matched preintervention and postintervention parent-completed surveys and in-park observations during 4 days near the midpoint of the intervention. We used paired-samples t tests and logistic regression to analyze changes in park visitation, perceptions, and PA.

    Results

    Children and adolescents visited an average of 12.1 (of 19) Park Hop parks, and discovered an average of 4.6 venues. In a subset of participants, from preintervention to postintervention, the mean number of park visits increased from 5.0 visits to 6.1 visits, the proportion of time engaged in PA during the most recent park visit increased from 77% to 87%, and parents reported more positive perceptions of the quality of park amenities. We observed more children and adolescents (n = 586) in the 2 intervention parks than in the 2 matched control parks (n = 305). However, the likelihood of children and adolescents engaging in moderate-to-vigorous PA was significantly greater in the control parks (74.3%) than in Park Hop parks (64.2%).

    Conclusion

    Park Hop facilitated community-collaboration between park agencies and positively influenced park usage, park discovery, time engaged in PA during park visits, and perceptions of parks. This low-cost, replicable, and scalable model can be implemented across communities to facilitate youth and family-focused PA through parks.

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