Stephanie L Williamson

Learn More
BACKGROUND New tools are needed to examine physical activity and the contexts in which it occurs. Community parks contribute to physical activity, but measuring activity and associated variables in them is challenging because area contexts change and the numbers and characteristics of users are highly variable. METHODS We developed SOPARC (System for(More)
OBJECTIVES Parks provide places for people to experience nature, engage in physical activity, and relax. We studied how residents in low-income, minority communities use public, urban neighborhood parks and how parks contribute to physical activity. METHODS In 8 public parks, we used direct observation to document the number, gender, race/ethnicity, age(More)
We evaluated the impact of outdoor exercise equipment (FZ, Fitness Zones) in 12 parks serving diverse populations. We used the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) to assess use and estimate energy expenditure prior to and twice after FZ installation. Park use increased more in FZ parks than in 10 control parks that did not get(More)
BACKGROUND Many assume that improving the quality and the perceived safety of facilities in parks and recreation centers is critical to attracting more users and increasing population physical activity. There are few studies in which these assumptions have been tested. PURPOSE This study aims to assess the impact of park improvements on park use and(More)
OBJECTIVE To assess how park characteristics and demographic factors are associated with park use. METHODS We studied a diverse sample of parks in a Southern California metropolitan area in 2006-2008 representing a variety of racial and ethnic communities of different socioeconomic strata. We surveyed 51 park directors, 4257 park users and local(More)
INTRODUCTION An extensive infrastructure of neighborhood parks supports leisure time physical activity in most U.S. cities; yet, most Americans do not meet national guidelines for physical activity. Neighborhood parks have never been assessed nationally to identify their role in physical activity. METHODS Using a stratified multistage sampling strategy, a(More)
BACKGROUND Given the concerns about low rates of physical activity among low-income minority youth, many community-based organizations are investing in the creation or renovation of public parks to encourage youth to become more physically active. To what degree park renovations accomplish this goal is not known. METHODS We used the System for Observing(More)
A rich literature indicates that individuals of lower socio-economic status engage in less leisure time physical activity than individuals of higher socio-economic status. However, the source of the difference is believed to be, in part, due to differential access to resources that support physical activity. However, it has not been shown as to whether(More)
BACKGROUND Physical inactivity is an important health risk factor that could be addressed at the community level. PURPOSE The goal of the study was to determine whether using a community-based participatory approach with park directors and park advisory boards (PABs) could increase physical activity in local parks. Whether involving PABs would be more(More)
Violence represents a significant threat to the health of impoverished women. Few studies have examined what characteristics might be associated with increased risk of violence or protection from physical violence directed at such women, although this information is important in informing violence prevention and intervention efforts. This is the first study(More)