Want to Encourage Exercise? Just Put Up Better Signs

According to a recent Rand Corp. study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, fancy redesigns or new equipment may not be necessary to spark more usage in existing parks. Adding a few signs may do the trick.
October 20, 2013, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Given the widespread calls for Americans to exercise more, from the first lady to the corner gym, the researchers decided to see if they could increase use of and activity in local parks," writes Mary MacVean. "They picked 50 parks in Los Angeles, gave some of them $4,000 apiece to spend in efforts to increase use of the parks, and then looked at what happened from 2007 to 2012"

"The study found that spending on marketing and outreach increased physical activity by 7% to 12%, compared with parks that did not make changes."

"The ideas behind the study were straightforward: 'Given that parks are intended to serve local communities, successfully addressing the underutilization of parks may require community input and participation,' the authors wrote."

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Published on Thursday, October 17, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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