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Reasons for urban trail use predict levels of trail-related physical activity


Dunton, GF and Spruijt-Metz, D and Wolch, J and Chou, CP and Jerrett, M and Byrne, J and Weaver, S and Reynolds, KD, Reasons for urban trail use predict levels of trail-related physical activity, Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6, (4) pp. 426-434. ISSN 1543-3080 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Human Kinetics, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1123/jpah.6.4.426


Background: Efforts to increase community levels of physical activity through the development of multiuse urban trails could be strengthened by information about factors predicting trail use. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails.

Methods: Adults (N = 335) living within a 1-mile buffer zone of urban trails in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles completed a self-report measure assessing demographics, reason for trail use, and physical activity on the trail. Accelerometers measured total daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Environmental features of the urban trail were assessed with the Systematic Pedestrian and Cyclist Environmental Scan for trails measure. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted that accounted for clustering of individuals within trail segments.

Results: After controlling for demographic and environmental factors and total daily MVPA, reasons for trail use significantly predicted recreational but not transportation activity. Recreational trail activity was greater for participants who reported exercise and health reasons for trail use as compared with other reasons (ie, social interaction, enjoying nature, walking pets) for recreational trail use.

Conclusions: To increase the use of urban trails, it may be useful to promote the health and exercise benefits of recreational trail use.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:physical activity, environment, community-based research, survey research
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Byrne, J (Professor Jason Byrne)
ID Code:125327
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-04-13
Last Modified:2018-05-28

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