Open Access Open Badges Research

Perceived environment and public open space use: a study with adults from Curitiba, Brazil

Rogério César Fermino12*, Rodrigo Siqueira Reis12, Pedro Curi Hallal3 and José Cazuza de Farias Júnior4

Author Affiliations

1 Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, School of Health and Biosciences, Curitiba, Brazil

2 Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil

3 Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil

4 Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil

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International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2013, 10:35  doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-35

Published: 15 March 2013



The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the perceived environment and the use of public open spaces (POS).


A cross-sectional study with household surveys was conducted in 1,461 adults from Curitiba, Brazil interviewed in person. The perceived environment was evaluated with the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale, and the POS use was evaluated using the ordinal scale (increased use).


The presence of interesting objects, heavy traffic, and the number of positive attributes of the environment was positively associated with POS use among men, and the presence of trees was associated with the use among women.


Managers should invest in the architectural attractiveness of neighborhoods and should plant and conserve trees to encourage POS use.

Built environment; Physical environment; Green areas; Public parks; Recreational facilities