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State Park Selection As Determined By User Health

Authors: Connor Phelan*,
Topics: Tourism Geography
Keywords: State Parks,Health,Tourism
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the rigor of physical activity available at state parks and classification of Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) rating influenced those that chose to visit parks based upon health considerations. This research was conducted at three state park locations within the United States. On-site analysis and surveys were administered at Wilson State Park, Kansas, Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas, and Kiholo State Park, Hawaii. Park locations were chosen by varying levels of terrain difficulty, as well as a rating from the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum. Participants were asked questions on exercise habits, mobility limiting impairments, and frequency of exercise so a ranking of participant’s health could be scored according to the standards of the American College of Sports Medicine. General demographic questions and zip codes were also requested for supplemental analysis. Once compiled, the data was analyzed using SAS statistical software to run an ANOVA. Initial analysis of the descriptive results indicated high overall health levels in Hawaii, moderate levels in Kansas, and moderate to low levels in Arkansas. An ANOVA comparing each park showed no significance between difficulty and average weekly exercise rates.

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