Article Title



Douglas A. Gregory1,2, Eugene Fitzhugh1. 1University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. 2Tennessee Wesleyan University, Athens, TN.

BACKGROUND: The built environment can play a significant role in providing a means of increasing leisure time physical activity (LTPA). Bicycle parks are growing in popularity across the United States; however, little research exists on who uses or how they use features of the park for physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to create a profile of physical activity among users of an urban bike park. METHODS: Baker Creek Preserve in Knoxville, TN is a newly built bicycle park with thirteen PA zones that include bicycle pump tracks, playground features, and a greenway. The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) was used to measure gender, age, race/ethnicity, primary activity, and activity intensity of users. SOPARC scans were completed on four days during a week (M, W, Sa, Su) in April and July 2021 at four 1-h time periods per day (8a, 12p, 3p, 6p). A total of 416 scans were conducted across the thirteen PA zones. SOPARC count data were analyzed using SPSS for descriptive statistics of users and their associated energy expenditure. Chi-square tests were used to compare user groups to the Knox County census data. RESULTS: In total, 1367 individuals were observed using the bike park over the study period. PA zones with cycling features (N=9) were in use for 31.6% of scans with an average intensity of 4.13 METs. PA zones with playground features (N=3) were in use for 41.2% of scans with an average intensity of 3.07 METs. The greenway was in use for 79.7% of scans with an average intensity of 4.49 METs. Among users, 67.4% were male (p<.001, df=1), most were adults (57.9%), with 40.8% being youth. 7.6% of users observed were minorities (p=.12, df=3). Regarding park use by time of day, 7.8% of users were observed in the morning, 31.4% at noon, 38.6% in the afternoon, and 22.3% in the evening (p<.001, df=3). Regarding PA intensity, 67.4% of park users engaged in moderate-vigorous PA (p=.03, df=2). When users occupied PA zones, cycling was the primary activity most frequently observed for males (N=114, 63.3%) and females (N=62, 47.0%). CONCLUSIONS: Physically active visits are relatively high at Baker Creek compared to other park studies which indicates users are more likely to participate in MVPA. People mostly use the park as intended, to bike. Future research should investigate if a newly built bicycle park increases LTPA or simply provides an additional location for PA.

This document is currently not available here.