Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Walker, Jason B.

Committee Member

Fulford, Charles Taza

Committee Member

Seymour, Michael W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Landscape Architecture

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Landscape Architecture


With an obesity epidemic of alarming proportions, there is a need for Active Living studies addressing the low-income populations in the state of Mississippi. This study uses behavior observation to examine physical activity patterns in a public park in a low-income neighborhood in West Point, MS. The influence of the built environment on physical activity and health is discussed, as are the implications of this research for designers and planners. Documentation of activity types and demographic comparisons between park users and the town population reveal consistent patterns of physical activity and suggest that the park may pull its users primarily from the surrounding neighborhood. The results suggest that quality behavior observation data may provide designers and planners with the level of context-sensitivity necessary to maximize the benefits of recreation spaces for particular user groups, if such spaces are to encourage physical activity to the degree that physical health is impacted.



Active Living||low-income||physical activity||obesity||behavior observation||recreation||landscape architecture