Physical activity levels and preferences of ethnically diverse visitors to Georgia State Parks
Parks provide many outdoor recreation opportunities that encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and research has recently begun to explore the demographic, social, and environmental factors associated with park-based activity levels, particularly outside of urban areas. This study used a mixed methods approach to investigate physical activity levels and correlates among demographically diverse state park visitors in Georgia. Data were collected during summer 2010 via onsite intercept surveys (n = 1,073) and structured observations of visitor behavior (n = 9,453 individuals observed). Analyses revealed substantial levels of activity during park visits and highlighted links between socially oriented recreation participation and park-based physical activity, particularly for Latinos and African Americans. Results could provide park managers with insightful information for promoting and sustaining park-based physical activity across diverse communities.