Less than half of youth engage in sufficient physical activity to achieve health benefits. Key environmental factors of park and recreation spaces may influence youth physical activity. We sought to ascertain youth characteristics and behaviors that attract youth to parks with specific amenities and encourage physical activity while at the parks in a rural, predominantly Latino community. We examined the quality of amenities in the 13 parks and recreation spaces that middle school aged youth have access to in their community using the Environmental Assessment of Parks and Recreation Spaces (EAPRS) tool. Middle school students completed surveys in the school classroom (n = 1,102) regarding park use, physical activity, and intrapersonal characteristics (e.g., motivators). We used logistic regression to identify correlates of any park use, use of higher quality field and court parks, and active and sedentary park use. Younger age, participation in an after school activity, and identification of a team as a motivator were positively associated with any park use. Use of higher quality court and field parks was associated with participation in an after school activity and being Latino. The odds of being active in the parks were greater for boys and Latinos. Older age and alcohol use are correlated with being sedentary at the park, while odds of being sedentary at the park were lower for boys and youth who met physical activity guidelines. Organized team activities may encourage active use of higher quality fields and courts parks by Latino youth; thereby, increasing their level of physical activity.
- Physical activity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health