PhD Candidate, Deakin University, VIC Australia
Elise is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University. She completed her Masters in Arts in Germany, where she focused on the conceptualisation, implementation and evaluation of population-level physical activity and health promotion interventions. Her PhD research is examining attributes and features of parks that are important for attracting adolescents to visit parks and for maximising their physical activity and social interaction within this setting. Findings will inform optimal park planning and design to ensure the (re)development of parks that support physical activity and social interaction among youth.
Optimal park (re)design for maximising adolescents' visitation, physical activity and social interaction in parks
Parks are not well attended by adolescents and those who visit tend to engage in low levels of physical activity. Limited research exists concerning what park features adolescents prefer the most when visiting parks. This study examined the relative importance of park features for maximising adolescents' visitation, physical activity and social interaction in parks.
Adolescents (n=244, 13-18 years; 54% female) were recruited from five secondary schools in Melbourne between 2019-2020. They completed an online survey, utilising Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint tasks, to determine the relative importance of park features for maximising visitation and active and social park use. The two most preferred features for visitation were large swings and large grassy spaces; for physical activity were sports courts and large grassy spaces; and for socialising were a café and picnic areas.
These results can inform optimal park (re)design by highlighting specific features that stakeholders should prioritise to appeal to adolescents.