Effects of urban green space (UGS) quality on physical activity (PA) and health, controlling for environmental factors

Weijian Zhang, Yan Li, Peilin Guo, Xitie Guo

Article ID: 3162
Vol 8, Issue 4, 2024

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Recently, there has been a burgeoning fascination with the influence of urban green spaces (UGS) on physical activity (PA) and health. This interest has been accompanied by a mounting body of evidence that establishes a connection between UGS and residents’ PA levels. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the significance of UGS and have generally agreed on their connection with health. However, there is still considerable variation in viewpoints regarding the intermediate factors contributing to this association. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the potential correlation between different qualitative factors of UGS and PA. The study involved the collection of data from four parks located in Edinburgh. Four trained observers utilised the Environmental Assessment of Public Recreational Spaces (EARPS Mini) tool to code various environmental characteristics. Additionally, the Method for Observing Physical Activity and Wellbeing (MOHAWk) observation tool was employed to code instances of on-site incivility and the characteristics and behaviours of residents engaging in UGS activities. The results of this study show that the facilities and environment, area and socioeconomic status (SES) of UGS positively affect the type of PA and the level of PA, as well as influence residents’ attentiveness to the environment and their interactions with each other. Demographics such as gender and age group are also significantly related to the level and type of PA. Significant differences in the level and type of PA, and race only differed significantly in the choice of activity type. These results suggest that the quality of the UGS environment affects the level, type, and status of PA among residents and that resident characteristics also have an impact. Future research suggests increasing data collection related to PA frequency and PA duration and considering longitudinal observations over time for refinement.


urban green spaces (UGS); physical activity (PA); environmental factors; socioeconomic status (SES); demographics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24294/jipd.v8i4.3162


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