filed under: health and social benefits
When promoting trail-use among older adults, natural elements should be considered.
Anna Elizabeth Price, Julian A. Reed, Savannah Long,Andrea L. Maslow, and Steven P. Hooker
Background: Public health efforts to promote trail use among older adults could be an effective strategy for increasing physical activity among older adults. However, research is needed to better understand factors that influence older adults’ use of trails.
Purpose: To examine the association between variations in natural elements(ie, season, weather, temperature) and older adults’ overall trail use and physical activity intensity during trail-use.
Methods: A rail-trail in South Carolina was systematically evaluated (2006–2009) using The System forObserving Play and Recreation in Communities.
Results: The majority (74.2%) of the 1053 older trail users observed were walking; 25.9% were observed in vigorous activity. Older adults were most often observed using the trail in the spring (40.1%), sunny weather (76.8%), and moderate temperatures (56.2%). Significant differences in activity type by natural element variables were identified.
Conclusions: When promoting trail-use among older adults, natural elements should be considered.
Published January 2012
National Park Service − Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program
This publication is designed to inform the reader about the services provided by the National Park Service – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.
Improving Accessibility on Public Lands
Recommendations from American Trails
The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) is Making a Difference Across America
Use this interactive map to find where, when, and how these funds are being used.
Everything you need to know about the positive impact of trails on health, environment, economics, and more.