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Parks nationwide provide space and opportunity for children and adults to be physically active, but a new review by Active Living Research identifies many ways to further leverage the capacity of America’s parks to help more people achieve recommended physical activity levels.
Parks, Playgrounds and Active Living summarizes the growing body of evidence on how park proximity, size and features impact physical activity, especially among populations who are at high risk for being inactive and/or obese.
According to the review by Active Living Research grantee Andrew Mowen:
- Having more parks and more park area in a community is associated with higher physical activity levels.
- Lower-income populations and some racial and ethnic populations have limited access to parks and recreational facilities. These disparities partially explain lower physical activity levels among these populations.
Mowen concludes that the capacity of parks to increase physical activity levels and promote overall health among American children and adults is not fully realized and identifies areas where more research is needed.