Poor air quality represents a significant health risk for individuals engaging in recreation activities outdoors in urban parks and trails. This study investigated temporal variability in particulate matter (PM) exposure along an urban waterfront trail. We also used recreation choice frameworks to examine the effects of visitors’ perceptions of air quality (AQ) and health benefits on trail use. Average air quality during the collection period was “good” (PM10) to “moderate” (PM2.5). We found that PM density was significantly higher (p < 0.001), though still in the “moderate” range, at 7–9 a.m., 11 a.m.–1 p.m., and 3–5 p.m., and on weekends. Visitors’ self-reported perceptions of health outcomes, but not air quality, significantly predicted trail use. Results suggest that these experiential factors may affect recreational choices depending on other factors, such as salience. Further research is merited to determine how experiential factors can be integrated with other theories of motivation to understand recreational decision-making.
Original Publication Citation
McCann, J. E., Zajchowski, C. A. B., Hill, E. L., & Zhu, X. (2021). Air pollution and outdoor recreation on urban trails: A case study of the Elizabeth River Trail, Norfolk. Atmosphere, 12(10), 1-13, Article 1304. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12101304
0000-0002-9909-2624 (Zajchowski), 0000-0002-3621-5666 (Hill), 0000-0002-5048-3464 (Zhu)
McCann, James E.; Zajchowski, Chris A.B.; Hill, Eddie L.; and Zhu, Xihe, "Air Pollution and Outdoor Recreation On Urban Trails: A Case Study of the Elizabeth River Trail, Norfolk" (2021). Human Movement Sciences Faculty Publications. 111.