Background: Urban parks play an important role in promoting physical activity (PA) among adults and especially among older city residents. According to the socioecological approach the association of physical environments and psychosocial factors in the context of park-based PA of elderly have not been systematically examined until now, let alone the relevance of the city (urban area) on a cross-cultural level. This study investigated selected aspects of (1) the association of psychosocial and park environmental factors with park-based physical activity (PBPA) of older people; and (2) the moderating effect of city on the association of these factors with PBPA. Methods: A face-to-face survey was conducted of a mixed-culture sample from different urban surroundings in Hong Kong (HK) and Leipzig (L). In six parks of each city physically active elderly (> = 60 years; HK: n = 306; L: n = 311) were recruited. Multiple linear regressions were used to analyse the association between psychosocial factors and perceived environmental factors with PBPA and the moderating effect of city. Results: Controlled for demographic variables, all other psychosocial factors were significantly related to PBPA, except social support. In terms of environmental factors, PBPA was positively associated with safety, attractiveness, features and negatively associated with park time distance. Controlled for demographic variables, psychosocial and environmental factors, the moderating effect of city on the associations of park features and park time distance with PBPA was not significant in HK. In contrast, there was a significant positive relationship for park features and a negative relationship for park time distance with PBPA in L. Conclusions: Psychosocial and perceived environmental factors significantly influence PBPA of older people. City moderates the associations of these factors and independently contributes to park-based PA of the elderly. The different interactions of environmental factors and urban area for PBPA of elderly can support policy makers on the municipal level in choosing adequate strategies for promoting PA of older people in parks.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Mixed-culture sample
- Park-based physical activity
- Psychosocial and perceived environmental factors
- Urban Park