Associations between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and neighbourhood recreational facilities: The features of the facilities matter

Ka Yiu Lee, Hong Lee, Duncan Macfarlane

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the associations between objectively-assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and perceived/objective measures of neighbourhood recreational facilities categorized into indoor or outdoor, public, residential or commercial facilities. The associations between facility perceptions and objectively-assessed numbers of recreational facilities were also examined.Method: A questionnaire was used on 480 adults to measure local facility perceptions, with 154 participants wearing ActiGraph accelerometers for ≥4 days. The objectively-assessed number of neighbourhood recreational facilities were examined using direct observations and Geographical Information System data.Results: Both positive and negative associations were found between MVPA and perceived/objective measures of recreational facilities. Some associations depended on whether the recreational facilities were indoor or outdoor, public or residential facilities. The objectively-assessed number of most public recreational facilities was associated with the corresponding facility perceptions, but the size of effect was generally lower than for residential recreational facilities.Conclusions: The objectively-assessed number of residential outdoor table tennis courts and public indoor swimming pools, the objectively-assessed presence of tennis courts and swimming pools, and the perceived presence of bike lanes and swimming pools were positive determinants of MVPA. It is suggested to categorize the recreational facilities into smaller divisions in order to identify unique associations with MVPA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12594-12610
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2014


  • GIS
  • MVPA
  • Neighbourhood
  • Recreational facilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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