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An Observational Assessment of Park-based Physical Activity in Older Adults in Nanchang, China

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Objectives: Parks are more widely used by older adults in East Asia than in the United States. Parks are an important community asset for healthy aging; yet, little is known about park usage and features among older adults in China. Methods: The Community Park Audit Tool and the System for Observing Play and Recreation (SOPARC) were used to assess park features, PA levels and primary activities among 40,469 older adults in Nanchang, China. Results: None of the 8 parks observed had basketball courts or baseball fields and only one had a playground. Results indicated that about half of older adults were active in parks, with women, cooler temperatures, weekdays, and morning hours being related to higher levels of activity. Conclusions: Lessons from the construction of parks in China may be useful in increasing park use in older adults in western countries. Features such as exercise equipment, water features, and small exercise areas were common where western parks are often designed with features for teens and youth including basketball courts, baseball fields, and playgrounds.
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Keywords: CHINA; OLDER ADULTS; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY; SOPARC

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Justin B. Moore, Associate Professor, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 2: Kristyn Schuller, Research Assistant, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Public Health Sciences, Honolulu, HI 3: Angelie Cook, Research Assistant, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Public Health Sciences, Honolulu, HI 4: Yuanan Lu, Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Public Health Sciences, Honolulu, HI 5: Zhaokang Yuan, Professor, Nanchang University, School of Public Health, Nanchang, China 6: Jay E. Maddock, Professor, Texas A&M University, School of Public Health, College Station, TX;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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