Defining the accessibility of physical activity Tracing the social dimension
- physical activity,
- social accessibility,
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The promotion of the physical activity (PA) of citizens has traditionally focused on improving spatial accessibility, especially in municipal administrations. However, research evidence indicates that proximity to PA environments is not a sufficient condition for increased PA. This article presents a broader model of the dimensions of the accessibility of PA, developed in cooperation between researchers and the authorities of two cities in Finland. As a result, ten dimensions affecting accessibility have been identified: spatial, temporal, physical/technological, informational, economic, legal/ administrative, cultural/attitudinal, skills related, mental and social. A special focus of attention is on the most neglected dimension: the social. In addition to the dimensional typology, the article presents a view of the PA accessibility process in which the social dimension plays a significant role as a mediating level between the enabling factors and the decisions made by individuals.