Kansas City Parks and Physical Activity Project

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Kansas City Neighborhood and Park Study

This page primarily describes the project component entitled "Kansas City Neighborhood and Park Study", the primary purpose of which was to examine how neighborhood and park environments influence the physical activity behaviors of nearby children and adults. Please read on to learn more about the project.

Project Team

Dr. Andrew Kaczynski, Kansas State University, Co-PI
Dr. Sonja Wilhelm Stanis, University of Missouri, Co-PI
Gina Besenyi, Kansas State University, Research Assistant
Katy Vaughan, Kansas State University, Research Assistant
Hua Bai, University of Missouri, Research Assistant

Study Background and Objectives

Park environments provide a wealth of opportunities for facilitating neighborhood and park-based physical activity. However, not all parks are created equal and they can vary widely with respect to proximity, size, features, and condition. Few studies have provided an in-depth examination of how the characteristics of parks and the neighborhoods around them help to shape the health and health behaviors of residents of all ages. Therefore, the purpose of the Kansas City Neighborhood and Park Study (KCNPS) was to examine how the proximity, features, quality, and neighborhood environments around parks influence physical activity and park use among children and adults. More specifically, some of the key research questions explored include:

  • Is proximity to parks associated with physical activity participation and park use among children and adults?
  • Which park features are associated with physical activity participation and park use among children and adults?
  • Is park quality associated with physical activity participation and park use among children and adults?
  • How does the context of the surrounding neighborhood (safety, connectivity, aesthetics, etc.) affect physical activity participation and park use among children and adults?

Study Methods

This community-based, cross-sectional study occurred concurrently with the previous phase of the Kansas City Park and Physical Activity Project (development of a community stakeholder park audit tool) and involved three integrated components. First, a mail survey completed by 893 randomly-selected households in the study neighborhoods collected information about perceptions of the neighborhood and nearby parks, physical activity behavior of children and adults in the home, and park use and park-based physical activity. The second component utilized geographic information systems (GIS) technology to gather exposure data regarding the availability and size of parks in respondents' neighborhoods. Finally, the third component included observational audits of KCMO parks within the respondents' neighborhoods to assess park attributes such as features, amenities, access, quality, safety, and neighborhood context.

Presentations/Posters/Articles

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Andrew Kaczynski
Physical Activity and Public Health Laboratory
Department of Kinesiology
1A Natatorium
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas 66506
785-532-0709
atkaczyn@k-state.edu
Dr. Sonja Wilhelm Stanis
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
School of Natural Resources
105e Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Bldg
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri 65221
573-882-9524
sonjaws@missouri.edu

 


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