Tales from an Urban Multipurpose Trail: One and a Half Miles of Wellness

By Salvatore Sanders, Nicole Mullins and Mark Zetts.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Physical activity and maintaining a healthy body weight remain important public health objectives. This study was conducted to explore the health, fitness, and wellness related uses of an urban multipurpose trail, and to describe the characteristics of those who utilize it. Adult trail users (N = 596) were surveyed over several days during the spring, summer, and fall. On average, participants visited the trail four times each week and engaged in activity for about sixty minutes. Trail use is reported as most frequent in the summer and least in the winter. Nearly all of the participants (95%) perceived the trail as important or very important in helping them achieve a fitness/wellness related goal or purpose. The trail was used for purposes that reflect the six dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, environmental, mental/intellectual, social, and spiritual. The physical dimension was the most frequently identified. These findings support the importance of the trail to users’ wellness. The results of this study will be of value to those interested in fitness/wellness promotion and public health. These findings will also be of interest to those planning for, creating, or maintaining multipurpose trail facilities. Specific recommendations for the park district to improve and maintain the trail are provided.

Keywords: Activity, Fitness, Health, Trail, Wellness, Dimensions of Wellness

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.163-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.711MB).

Dr. Salvatore Sanders

Associate Professor of Health Profesions, Department of Health Professions, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Salvatore A. Sanders is an associate professor of health professions at Youngstown State University. His current research focuses on health behaviors and the feedback expectations of online learners. He can often be found running on the East Golf Hike/Bike Trail.

Dr. Nicole Mullins

Department of Human Performance and Exercise Science, Youngstown State University, Yongstown, Ohio, USA

Nicole M. Mullins is an associate professor of exercise science at Youngstown State University. Her current primary research interests involve sport specific training and the psychological and pedagogical aspects of sport, exercise, and health-related behaviors. On any given day, she may be found running, cycling, or golfing in Mill Creek Park.

Mark Zetts

Instructor of Hospitality Management, Department of Human Ecology, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Mark J. Zetts is an instructor of hospitality management in the Human Ecology Department at Youngstown State University. His current research focuses on personal wellness and its influence on the hospitality industry. He can often be found jogging behind his dog Duke on the Hike/Bike Trail.