Does Better Accessibility to Exercise Facilities Mean People Use Them More?




Lu, Fangda

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GIS provides an excellent means for visualizing and analyzing health spatial data, geographically integrating large amounts of information from different sources and serving as a common platform for health data, recreation facilities, as well as indoor/outdoor activities. At the same time, social media provides an effective and accurate way for us to learn about the lifestyles of representative individuals within a region. Twitter is one of the most popular social media in the United States. Some users reveal their position with posts, which can let us know what and when are they doing, as well as where are they. The combination of GIS and social media helps to identify the characteristics of users’ social media behavior that tend to be associated with their activities, both indoor and outdoor considered. In this research, keyword searching was used to filter tweets related to physical activities: parks, trails, and open spaces refer to outside activities, geocoded gyms and facilities refer to indoor activities. Service areas were defined for different levels of facilities, and then every tweet location was evaluated for its access to physical activity facilities. The same analysis was applied at the zip code level. Last, whether the accessibility affects activity was tested by statistical hypothesis testing method. As a result, the average accessibility of indoor activity-related tweets’ location is not significantly different from the average of unrelated tweets’ location. However, the average accessibility of outdoor activity-related tweets’ location was significantly lower than the average of unrelated tweets’ location. That's the reason why we cannot say there is any expected quantity relationship was figured out.



GIS, health, physical activity, social media, Twitter, Applied Geography


Lu, F. (2018). Does better accessibility to exercise facilities mean people use them more? Master of Applied Geography Degree, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.


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