Purpose: Access and quality of physical activity resources (PARs) influence physical activity (PA) participation. This study examined the type, size, accessibility, features, amenities, and incivilities of PARs in two cities. Design: Researchers identified all PARs within an 800-meter radius of the homes of participants from a larger study. Each PAR was evaluated by a trained assessor. Setting: PARs were evaluated in Houston and Austin, Texas. Patients: The final sample included 1326 PARs in Houston and 297 in Austin, Texas. Measures: The 2010 Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA), a direct-observation audit tool, was used to assess the type, size, accessibility, features, amenities, and incivilities of a PAR. Analysis: Both t-tests and analyses of variance were used to determine differences in features, amenities, and incivilities by city, type, and accessibility. Results: Houston PARs had greater amenities (t = 4.445; p <.001) and fewer incivilities (t = 26.89; p <.001) than Austin PARs. Combination resources had the highest score for features (M = 9.94; standard deviation [SD] = 5.62); fitness clubs had the highest score for amenities (M = 17.06; SD = 5.27); and trails had the most incivilities (M 5 4.23; SD = 4.88). Free PARs had greater features (F[3, 1509] = 16.87; p <.001), amenities (F[3, 1500] = 3.13; p =.025), and incivilities (F[3, 1540] = 21.97; p <.001) than pay for use PARs. Conclusion: Improvements to quality and maintenance of existing free PARs may be an economical strategy to increase PA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health