273751 Protecting our Health: A GIS Spatial Analysis of Park Availability and Chronic Disease across Age Groups

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Gina Besenyi, MPH , Department of Health Promotion Education and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Andrew T. Kaczynski, PhD , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Sonja Wilhelm Stanis, PhD , Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Ryan Bergstrom, PhD , Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Joey Lightner, BS , Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Purpose: Parks are important community resources that offer numerous individual, social, economic, and environmental benefits. However, few public health studies have utilized geographic information systems to examine how parks are related to chronic disease. The purpose of this study was to explore the spatial relationship between park availability and incidence of chronic health concerns (CHCs) across age groups in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). Methods: Adult data (n=693) were obtained from a survey of randomly-selected households across KCMO. Respondents indicated applicable chronic diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes) and were categorized as having 0, 1, or 2+CHCs. Geographically-referenced park data were obtained from the City of KCMO and ArcView10.0 was used to determine park availability (yes/no) within a mile street network buffer of each respondent's home. Multinomial logistic regression examined the association between having a park within mile and the likelihood of having 0 (reference group), 1, or 2+CHCs. Analyses were conducted for three age categories (18-39, 40-59, and 60+ years), controlling for gender, race, BMI, and income. Results: There were no significant associations between park availability and CHCs for the 18-39 or 60+ age groups. However, among respondents ages 40-59, those without a park within mile from home were more than twice as likely to have 2+CHCs compared to respondents that had a park nearby (OR=2.28,CI=1.05-4.94). Conclusion: Within healthy community planning efforts, parks may be an important protective factor for chronic diseases, especially among middle-aged adults who are still mobile but at risk for onset of CHCs.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of parks and recreation for population level physical activity. Explain the relationship between meeting physical activity recommendations and reduction in chronic disease. Demonstrate the spatial relationship between park availability and incidence of chronic health concerns across age groups. Discuss the implications of community planning efforts for protection against chronic disease.

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, Community Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an instructor in the area of public health physical activity, the project manager for a grant evaluating public parks contribution to physical activity and public health, and I am currently working on a PhD in health promotion education and behavior that focuses on how the built environment contributes to population level physical activity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.