Impact and cost-effectiveness of family fitness zones

Dear Theresa,

Thank you for the thoughtful comments and feedback about my draft. I have thoroughly reviewed all the suggestions and comments, and I have made all the necessary changes to make the draft better. First, I revised grammar mistakes in the entire paper and ensured that it has a professional voice. I tried my best to ensure that all sentences followed a simple and understandable sentence structure. I believe that the paper structure and content is purposeful, and the changes make it a professional paper.

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The suggestion that caught my attention was on the “abstract” and some parts of the body. It was informative for me to avoid using the word “article” and rather replace it with “study” or research. Such suggestions enabled me to understand the correct way of detailing a professional paper. Further, the feedback was focused on the paper content (limitations and solution) and how they are arranged. Therefore, I made changes and arranged the limitations and solutions in an easy and understandable way thus the readers can comprehend the paper. Similarly, I provided the evidence with correct APA citation in all sections. Thus, the readers will understand and if interested seek further reading from the literatures used as references.

Finally, I revised the conclusion part, made it short and to the point. The conclusion was long with unnecessary repetitions thus through shortening it I achieved to make it simple an effective for its purpose. Therefore, readers checking the conclusions part will understand the study area, main points and the study findings. All the references are correctly placing in APA style and they suit to paper flow. I also did proofread to ensure that the paper is correctly done. Through proofreading I changed all sentences to active voice thus they are written well.

Sincerely,

Family Fitness Zones in Public Parks

A review of the article: “Impact and cost-effectiveness of family fitness zones: a natural experiment in urban public parks.”

Cohen, D. A., Marsh, T., Williamson, S., Golinelli, D., & McKenzie, T. L. (2012). Impact and cost-effectiveness of family fitness zones: a natural experiment in urban public parks. Health & Place18(1), 39-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.09.008

Abstract

Addressing public parks for exercises aids in the development of a healthy population hence decreasing the chances of obesity. The current study is about fixing the public parks and equipping them such that many people engage and utilize the parks for physical activities. The study aimed at equipping the parks with exercise equipment and others left unequipped to analyze the nature of activities that could take place in such parks. This study aimed to improve the nature of the park and enhance individuals’ exercising culture, which could help deal with health issues such as obesity. The study utilized surveys and observation methods for data collection. The results were taken three times per day by an observer. The study found out that equipping the parks increased the number of people exercising in those parks and the cost of equipping the parks was pocket friendly. Therefore, park exercise equipment acted as a motivation factor for people to visit the part and exercise. However, the study was faced with various limitations, as evidenced from the critical analysis. The observer bias, one follow-up study, and selection bias are some of the major issues analyzed from the study. The study can be improved by analyzing the issues and recommending the best methods of eliminating the impact of the issues, hence obtaining relevant results suitable for making informed decisions. The issues may be fixed using various data collection methods in conjunction with observation, comparing the data obtained from surveys with available data, and utilizing more than one follow-up study to obtain accurate results.

Introduction

Physical activity is essential for individuals’ development, and only 10% of the population is active (Mackey et al., 2019). The public health problem is obesity that results in excessive weight gain due to inadequate physical activity. Hence, highlighting the impact of equipping public parks with exercise tools like running trucks will positively impact the health-affected population. Consequently, there is an increase in the number of people participating in physical activities, thus reducing cases related to obesity. The research adopted literatures which utilized study methods such as surveys, participant observation and observational trials. The results for the observation showed an improvement in park attendance when the training tools were introduced and vice versa. Second, installing fitness zones is cost effective in high populated parks (Cohen et al., 2012). Also, results showed self-report park use differed from observable park use. The survey showed satisfying behavior in park exercises differ depending on age, gender and educational levels (Motta et al., 2017). Identification of gaps in public parks may encourage many people to participate in physical activities. Weaknesses characterize the article, which leads to inaccurate results. The weaknesses include; observer bias due to interviews, selection bias originating from surveys, and using one follow-up study to come up with conclusions. The issues could be solved by combining other data collection methods such as questionnaires, documents, and records, selecting the respondents randomly, and utilizing more than one follow-up study.

Narrative

The observation method was utilized despite observer bias being a common issue when using the method as a data collection method. Observer bias is characterized by the observers recording the information based on the results that they need to achieve (Sussman, 2016). The observations were meant to determine whether the number of people in the parks increased or decreased after equipping them. The observations were done two times per day, and this is not adequate to make conclusions on the number of people present in the parks. It is also difficult to differentiate between the new members visiting the park and the old members. Determining the number of people who were active in the park doing physical exercises is also challenging. For instance, during observation using “The System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SPARC),” the park witnessed a division of fitness zones which was inappropriate for collecting comprehensive data. To get the right data, the study should have placed uniform equipment in different park locations. Generally, researchers observed participants visually and recorded their age and ethnicity by looking at their physical appearance rather than asking them about their real origin and even using identification cards to authenticate the study (Ewing et al., 2019). The participants were giving incorrect data on a given issue (Motta et al., 2017). Park users may focus on the information that favors them. Some neighborhoods are characterized by negative behaviors such as theft and poverty, so they may not be willing to be associated with such neighborhoods. However, the observer bias could be solved by applying various strategies. In addition to observation, the study could utilize the interview method to collect the data, giving concrete data leading to precise results (Barrett & Twycross, 2018). Observing the participants’ age in the parks could be solved by engaging them through interviews and observations, providing relevant data. The observations should also be carried out throughout the day by different observers and compare the results, thus reducing observation bias (Sussman, 2016). Similarly, the observers should also be keen to avoid double counting, and this could be solved through short interviews or registrations at the gate, which could reveal the actual number of people present in a given period.

Surveys are an important tool in collecting both qualitative and quantitative data. However, in this case, this was a limitation. The researcher utilized the survey to determine the distance that the park users traveled from their homes. Self-reporting surveys are biased, and this leads to wrong information. The limitation for self-reporting surveys is inability to verify data given by participants (Motta et al., 2017). For instance, the number of people willing to report the distance from their houses to the park is also minimal; hence the data obtained cannot be used in generalizing the view of the entire population. However, surveys’ results may be validated by comparing them with data collected from former studies. Also, the study witnessed selection bias (not verifying age and ethnicity) which may be solved by locating the respondents randomly (Wolf et al., 2019). The provided results’ similarity may prove that the data is correct, enhancing the results’ quality.

The study indicates that only the first follow-up study after three months was utilized in the analysis, which is a weakness. Carrying out a follow-up study is essential, and this gives accurate results. However, in this study, only two follow-up studies were carried out (periods of 3 and 6 months), and only the second follow-up study was utilized for analysis. Comparing only two studies was not adequate to measure the physical activity of the people in the parks. The number of people might have increased depending on the weather changes, hence the need to compare results from many follow-up studies that could reveal the impact of equipping the parks. This indicates that the conclusions made on the park might have been incorrect. The first follow-up results for the study might differ from the first one due to factors like equipping the parks. To avoid further biases, long-term follow-up measures could be utilized, which could result in positive outcomes. Another problem with the follow-up study is that they were carried out through sampling, whereas the former studies were carried out on any individual visiting the park on an observational basis; thus, results obtained from the studies could vary (Xue et al., 2017). Notably, the weaknesses could be corrected by adhering to either sampling or full examination of the population. Comparing the results from two or more follow-up studies and using them in the analysis was the best option rather than using one follow-up study (von Allmen et al., 2019). Besides, the follow-up studies are meant to minimize the errors of former studies and indicate the accuracy of the obtained results. However, this study utilized only the second follow–up study to compare with the baseline results. Therefore, the costs could differ and also the number of people in the park. This impacts the results since the studies present no adequate evidence. Combining data collected from various follow-up studies and comparing it with the baseline data could aid in achieving better results.

Conclusion

The study determined the effectiveness of family fitness zones in public parks and it was insightful, but characterized by weaknesses. Despite the study being done in an ideal location (park) for gathering data and involving few potential individuals who presented themselves as volunteers, it was characterized by numerous challenges. Some problematic situations were inaccurate data since the participants do not disclose their information. However, the solution should have sampling the participants and comparing the obtained results. Further, the follow-up studies were only two, and only the second study was utilized in the analysis. The use of the observation method in the collection of data results is biased, therefore it should be combined with other methods such as interviews and questionnaires.

References

Barrett, D., & Twycross, A. (2018). Data Collection in Qualitative Research. BMJ, 21(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/eb-2018-102939

Ewing, L., Sutherland, C. A., & Willis, M. L. (2019). Children Show Adult-Like Facial Appearance Biases When Trusting Others. Developmental Psychology, 55(8), 1694. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/dev0000747

Mackey, D. C., Perkins, A. D., Tai, K. H., Sims-Gould, J., & McKay, H. A. (2019). Men on the Move: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Trial of a Scalable, Choice-Based, Physical Activity and Active Transportation Intervention for Older Men. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 27(4), 489-502. https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.2018-0137

Motta, M. P., Callaghan, T. H., & Smith, B. (2017). Looking for answers: Identifying search behavior and improving knowledge-based data quality in online surveys. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 29(4), 575-603. https://doi.org/10.1093/ijpor/edw02

Sussman, R. (2016). Research Methods for Environmental Psychology, 9–27. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119162124

von Allmen, R. S., Tinner, C., Schmidli, J., Tevaearai, H. T., & Dick, F. (2019). Randomized controlled comparison of cross-sectional survey approaches to optimize follow-up completeness in clinical studies. PLOS ONE, 14(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213822

Wolf, M. G., Ihm, E., Maul, A., & Taves, A. (2019). Survey Item Validation. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/k27w3

Xue, X., Agalliu, I., Kim, M. Y., Wang, T., Lin, J., Ghavamian, R., & Strickler, H. D. (2017). New methods for estimating follow-up rates in cohort studies. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 17(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12874-017-0436-z

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