Physical Activity and Usage Patterns in Community Sport and Recreation Spaces in Guadalajara, Mexico

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Reid, Alexandra
Parks , Built Environment , PARA , SOPARC , Physical Activity
Background: Research shows that park quality, available amenities, and facilities are strongly associated with physical activity. However, the majority of the research evidence comes from studies conducted in high income countries (HICs). The main objective of the current study was to explore relationships between the quality of community sport and recreation spaces and their physical activity patterns in a low-to-middle income country (LMIC). A secondary objective was to compare these patterns between renovated and non-renovated sites. Methods: Data were collected from community sport and recreation spaces (n=10) throughout Guadalajara, Mexico. Direct observation measures were used to assess site quality (PARA) and collect information on user characteristics and physical activity levels (SOPARC). Pearson’s correlations and Mann-Whitney U tests were used in analyses. Results: Users were primarily male (66.6%), adult (48.4%), and sedentary (51.7%). There was a strong, significant relationship between the quality of sport and recreation spaces and all site users (r_partial= .775,p< .05), as well as active users (r_partial= .826,p< .01). No significant differences in group medians were detected among all site users or active users when renovated and non-renovated sites were compared. Conclusions: Findings suggest that the quality of community sport and recreation spaces is related to physical activity behaviour. Additionally, there may be a threshold level of quality needed to attract users beyond which additional improvements in quality do not translate into a higher number of users. These results have the potential to optimize the design, maintenance and promotion of COMUDE (Municipal Council of Sport) sport and recreation spaces.
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