ERIC Number: EJ1101345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Use of Dog Parks and the Contribution to Physical Activity for Their Owners
Evenson, Kelly R.; Shay, Elizabeth; Williamson, Stephanie; Cohen, Deborah A.
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, v87 n2 p165-173 2016
Purpose: This study described the use of dog parks in several diverse locations and explored the contribution dog parks made to physical activity of the dog owners. Method: The Systematic Observation of Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) tool was used to count the number and characteristics of people using parks. Observations were conducted 4 times per day, 4 days per week during for 1 week in 6 urban/suburban parks during different seasons. Collection sites included 3 dog parks in Chapel Hill/Durham, NC; 2 dog parks in Los Angeles, CA; and 1 dog park in Philadelphia, PA. Interviews at the NC and PA parks were conducted among 604 adults. Results: We counted 2,124 people (11.9%) in the dog park area compared with 15,672 people in the remaining park areas. Based on observations, dog park visitors were more likely to be female and White or Other race/ethnicity compared with Hispanics, and were less likely to be children or engaged in walking or vigorous activity. Park interviews revealed that compared with other park activities, reporting walking/watching a dog at the park was more common among those who visited the park more frequently (= 1 time per week), stayed at the park for a shorter time (= 1 hr), or visited the park alone. Conclusion: Although dog parks may be an important destination for dog owners and contribute to physical activity, the contribution of dog parks to participants' moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was limited.
Descriptors: Parks, Animals, Physical Activities, Interviews, Evaluation Methods, Observation, Urban Areas, Suburbs, Adults, Individual Characteristics, Comparative Analysis, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (Los Angeles); North Carolina (Durham); Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HL092569|R01HL083869