Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Li, Chuo

Committee Member

Knight, Adam C.

Committee Member

Walker, Jason B.

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


Encouraging running for exercise can be an important part of a comprehensive strategy for making communities more attractive for healthy physical activity. In order to make communities more runnerriendly, research must identify the features of the physical environment that are important for runners. This study identified these features through five focus groups of twenty-two runners. The focus group participants discussed the places they had run within the study community and described their positive and negative qualities. These discussions were then analyzed by examining direct quotations of the discussion transcripts and by noting the amount of participants concerned about particular issues. The findings showed that the participants chose their routes based on their ability to meet their exercise needs, safety, ease of access, and potential to be a fun experience. These insights into these runners’ preferences can be used to help make communities more conducive to physical activity.