Physical activity programming preferences in a municipal recreation center program
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus, conducted a needs assessment to determine the community's preferences for programming and services in the department's 23 recreation centers. The purpose of this thesis was to quantify physical activity programming preferences for adult constituents in a municipal recreation center program and to determine if these preferences vary by key demographic, behavioral, and environmental indicators of physical activity. Data were collected via a self-administered survey that was made available to both users and non-users in either paper form located at each recreation center or online via the parks and recreation website between February and March 2011. A total of 178 people responded to the survey. Results indicated that about 74% identified programs that are accessible and affordable to those with limited recreational opportunities as extremely important. Outdoor/nature activities as well as fitness classes, and youth and teen sports leagues received high percentages of respondents recognizing these activities as important or extremely important. Some differences in physical activity programming preferences were found between various demographic groups. About 61% of women compared to about 35% of men rated adults sports leagues as extremely important or important (p<0.05). While about 37% of whites rated martial arts extremely important or important, 64% of non-whites rated this activity as important or extremely important (p<0.05). Additionally, youth flag football was rated by 81.8% of non-whites as extremely important or important, while only about 53% of whites agreed (p<0.05). An association between age and preference for aerobics was also found to be highly significant with 80% of those ages 60+ reporting aerobics to be extremely important or important compared to 44.1% of those ages 18–39 and 44.2% of those ages 40-59 reporting aerobics to be extremely important or important. Findings from this study can be used to inform the city of Austin Parks and Recreation Departments' leaders as to what programs residents would like to see offered at recreation centers citywide.
Clark, Valerie, "Physical activity programming preferences in a municipal recreation center program" (2011). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1497571.