Toward an Analytic Framework for Active Living Strategies in Parks and Recreation Systems

  • Jawaid Haider Pennsylvania State University
  • Peter Aeschbacher Pennsylvania State University
  • Mallika Bose Pennsylvania State University
Keywords: analytic framework, active living, parks and recreation, strategies and guidelines for active living


The predicament many communities face with obesity and other diseases related to sedentary lifestyles has brought to light the symbiotic relationship between the built environment and active living. In this context, architectural and planning research has a crucial role to play and the significance of a conceptual framework that incorporates insights from multiple design disciplines and scales is of paramount importance. This paper focuses on the analytic framework of research that affords potential improvements in the parks and recreation system with the objective of promoting active living in Pennsylvania’s Pottstown Area. The approach centers on planning and design strategies for improving the health and wellbeing of residents. It highlights critical issues the area is confronting in terms of growth, sprawl, land loss, access to opportunities at parks and recreation facilities, and programs that affect active living. The analytic framework is informed by The Ecological Model of Four Domains of Active Living developed by Sallis et al. (2006). According to this model active living occurs in four domains of life that include: active recreation, active transportation, household activities, and occupational activities. Our research underscored two of the four domains of active living identified in the model: active recreation and active transportation. The framework recognizes that though it is useful to conceptualize the two domains separately, in actual practice they are closely intertwined. The structure of the study holistically incorporated both domains of active living in the context of distinct levels of influence, which included the neighborhood and policy environments. The analytic framework facilitated a substantive assessment of crucial aspects of existing parks and recreation facilities. This research has contributed substantially to providing a framework for socially relevant, environmentally feasible, and politically viable strategies. The framework it proposes would guide municipalities and planning or design agencies involved in the research process.
How to Cite
Haider, J., Aeschbacher, P., & Bose, M. (2014). Toward an Analytic Framework for Active Living Strategies in Parks and Recreation Systems. ARCC Conference Repository.