Stages of behavioral change and positive perception of the environment towards physical activity among urban park users
AbstractThe objectives of this study were to identify the stages of behavioral change (SBC) towards physical activity (PA) among users of urban parks, to determine the association between socio-demographic and economic variables of users of urban parks in relation to physical activity (PA), and to analyze environmental indicators of the park perceived positively for PA. A total of 218 users of an urban park, who filled out a questionnaire regarding socio-demographic data, SBC and perception of the existing environment, participated in the study. The most prevalent SBC were maintenance (56.6%) and action (21.1%). Most park users (78.7%) presented an active behavior (maintenance + action) towards PA, with this behavior being prevalent among middle-aged individuals (p<0.05). The beauty and geographic location of the park, technological and architectonic factors, some normative policies (public services to the users’ disposition), and values and attitudes were perceived positively for PA, regardless of whether the users regularly performed PA or not. The study suggests that most public park users present an active behavior towards PA, especially middle-aged individuals. In addition, the perception of environmental indicators is positive among physically inactive and active park users, irrespective of SBC.
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