The purpose was to examine 9 adult activity settings in 25 community parks to determine the most and least frequently used by gender, physical-activity (PA) intensity, and ethnicity.
There is limited research examining both use and non-use of trails for physical activity.
Such research might enable health educators to better promote physical activity on trails.
We used random digit dialing methods to survey 726 respondents in 2012.
The majority (75.1%) of respondents reported not using the trail in the previous 6 months. The odds of using the trail were greater among adults compared to older adults and those with a high school degree or college degree compared to those with less than a high school degree. Fifteen percent of trail users reported using the trail regularly (i.e., at least 30 minutes, 3 days/week). Trail characteristics preferred by trail users and reasons for not using the trail among nonusers were also examined.
These findings might be useful for health educators promoting physical activity on trails.
Persons promoting physical activity on trails should highlight those trail characteristics preferred by trail users, including the trails’ convenient location, beauty, and design. There is an opportunity to promote trail use among older adults and those with low education levels; promoting active transportation on trails might be especially useful among those with low education levels.
Published April 05, 2014
Trails are an important resource, but sadly we are increasingly seeing trails abused by littering and vandalism. American Trails has created a packet to teach kids to be great trail stewards so the next generation of trail lovers can help lead the way towards better care for our trails.
Promoting physical activity among children and adults is a priority national health objective in the United States. Regular physical activity lowers the risk of chronic diseases and is an important strategy for reversing the obesity epidemic.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the creation of nature-rich urban environments, including schoolyards with natural play spaces and gardens, can help improve physical and mental health, cognitive skills, creativity, and social bonding.
The phenomena of thru-hiking has been on a dramatic rise, spurring hikers to venture onto increasingly remote and challenging trails over extended periods of time. Despite the recent popularity of thru-hiking, the field remains relatively unstudied. In recreation, the expectations held beforehand have been linked to perceptions after an activity, but this has not been explored in thru-hiking.