Journal article

Examining Health-Related Effects of Refurbishment to Parks in a Lower Socioeconomic Area: The ShadePlus Natural Experiment

Suzanne J Dobbinson, Jody Simmons, James A Chamberlain, Robert J MacInnis, Jo Salmon, Petra K Staiger, Melanie Wakefield, Jenny Veitch

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | MDPI | Published : 2020

Abstract

Degraded parks in disadvantaged areas are underutilized for recreation, which may impact long-term health. Using a natural experiment, we examined the effects of local government refurbishments to parks (n = 3 intervention; n = 3 comparison) in low socioeconomic areas (LSEA) of Melbourne on park use, health behavior, social engagement and psychological well-being. Amenities promoting physical activity and sun protection included walking paths, playground equipment and built shade. Outcomes were measured via systematic observations, and self-report surveys of park visitors over three years. The refurbishments significantly increased park use, while shade use increased only in parks with shade..

View full abstract

Grants

Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council


Awarded by Brimbank City Council


Awarded by National Heart Foundation of Australia


Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council


Funding Acknowledgements

The ShadePlus study was funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership Research Project (ID 1062314), in partnership with Brimbank City Council. JV is supported by a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship (ID 101928). At the time of the study JSa and MW were supported by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowships (Salmon ID 1026216; Wakefield: ID 1109720).