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System for Observing Physical Activity and Recreation in Natural Areas (SOPARNA)

Thomas L. McKenzie and Vinod Sasidharan

SOPARNA is a direct observation tool for assessing use of outdoor recreation settings such as wilderness areas and natural open spaces. The tool provides protocols for observers to track users’ physical activity levels, activity types, genders, and estimated age and race/ethnicity groupings during a specified time frame using momentary time sampling. It can also be used to evaluate park attributes such as accessibility, usability, supervision, and organization. SOPARNA requires direct observation of the area to be evaluated and coding of the results. A full-text user guide, protocols, and worksheets are available.


Recreational & social value, Health & well-being, Active living

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