The Association of Natural Elements With Physical Activity Intensity During Trail Use by Older Adults

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.

Attached document published January 2012

More articles in this category

Why Trails Matter: Trails and Greenways Promote Health

posted Feb 1, 2024

Trails and greenways create healthy recreation and transportation opportunities by providing people of all ages with attractive, safe, accessible and low- or no-cost places to cycle, walk, hike, jog or skate.

STEP IT UP! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities

posted Jan 22, 2024

The Call to Action provides strategies that communities can use to support walking, which we hope will result in long-lasting changes to improve the health and health care of Americans today and of the generations that follow.

Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook

posted Dec 29, 2023

Consider this workbook as a starting point. Every project is different. This workbook is intended as a guide to be adapted for specific situations.

Hiking Trails in America

posted Dec 29, 2023

Call it walking. Call it hiking. Seldom has something so much fun also turned out to be so good for us!

175 views • posted 01/20/2020