↓ Skip to main content

How active are people in metropolitan parks? An observational study of park visitation in Australia

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Public Health, July 2015
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
7 tweeters
1 Facebook page


46 Dimensions

Readers on

130 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
How active are people in metropolitan parks? An observational study of park visitation in Australia
Published in
BMC Public Health, July 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-1960-6
Pubmed ID

Jenny Veitch, Alison Carver, Gavin Abbott, Billie Giles-Corti, Anna Timperio, Jo Salmon


Parks are generally an under-utilized resource in the community with great potential to enhance levels of physical activity. If parks are to attract more visitors across a broad cross-section of the population and facilitate increased physical activity, research is needed to better understand park visitor characteristics and how visitors spend their time in parks. The Recording and EValuating Activity in a Modified Park (REVAMP) study is a natural experiment monitoring a park upgrade in a low socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhood. This study described the observed baseline characteristics of park visitors (age, sex) and characteristics of visitation (weekday or weekend day, period of the day) and explored how these characteristics were associated with observed park-based physical activity in two metropolitan parks located Melbourne, Australia. Direct observations of park visitors were conducted using a modified version of SOPARC (the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities) on four weekdays and four weekend days. During weekdays, observations were conducted every hour from 7:30 am-4:30 pm and on weekend days from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. This equated to a total of 1460 scans across the two parks. Chi-square tests examined bivariate associations between park-based physical activity, and socio-demographic and park visitation characteristics. Logistic regression models examined the odds of being observed engaging in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity relative to lying/sitting/standing according to socio-demographic and park visitation characteristics. In total, 4756 park visitors were observed with the majority visiting on weekend days (87 %) and in the afternoon (41 %). Most visitors (62 %) were lying, sitting or standing, with only 29 % observed engaging in moderate-intensity and 9 % in vigorous-intensity physical activity. Park use differed by time of day, sex, age group, and neighborhood SES. Physical activity was lower for women than men (OR 0.76) and higher among visitors in the high SES area (OR 1.52). Parks offer substantial opportunities for people of all ages to engage in physical activity; however, this study showed that a large proportion of the park visitors observed were engaged in sedentary pursuits. Further research on how park design, amenities and programming can optimize park visitation and park-based physical activity is needed. Current controlled trial ISRCTN50745547 , registration date 11.1.2014.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 130 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 2 2%
Mexico 1 <1%
Colombia 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 124 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 21 16%
Researcher 20 15%
Student > Master 17 13%
Student > Bachelor 14 11%
Student > Postgraduate 12 9%
Other 24 18%
Unknown 22 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 23 18%
Sports and Recreations 19 15%
Medicine and Dentistry 18 14%
Nursing and Health Professions 9 7%
Environmental Science 7 5%
Other 22 17%
Unknown 32 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 24 April 2016.
All research outputs
of 16,578,367 outputs
Outputs from BMC Public Health
of 11,333 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 234,293 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Public Health
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,578,367 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,333 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 84% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 234,293 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them