Skip to main content

Pick up a magazine, tune into a talk show, or surf the web these days and you’re bound to find a discussion of growing childhood and adult obesity, the role of both physical and mental activity in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementias, and our growing disconnect with the outdoors.

Researchers in PRTM are engaged in foundational active living research which helps provide valuable insight, increased understanding and ultimately solutions for all these challenges. The resulting knowledge informs policy-makers and can be applied by practitioners in schools and daycares, community recreation programs, youth and adult sport centers, senior centers and more.


Featured Project: Investigating Places for Active Recreation in Communities

IPARC researchers explore how recreation, parks and outdoor spaces contribute to physical activity in communities.iparc_researcher

Their mission?

To advance the science of how parks, recreation and sports environments promote active living and to facilitate the application of evidence-based policies and practices that enhance opportunities for physical activity in these environments to enhance quality of life.

Why does this matter?

Because obesity and sedentary lifestyles continue to be leading public health concerns in the US. Only about a quarter of the US population engages in the recommended amount of physical activity daily, and a nearly quarter of the population is inactive.

Learn more about IPARC

Examples of Recent Publications from PRTM in the area of Active Recreation


Casper, J.M., Harrolle, M.G., & Kelley, K. (2013). Gender differences in physical activity and park and recreation facility use among Latinos in Wake County, North Carolina. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 45(1), 49-54.

Howard, K., Bocarro, J.N., & Kanters, M.A. (2013). Strategies for creating successful Joint Use agreements: A case study. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 31(1), 98-107.

Kanters, M.A., Bocarro, J.N., Edwards, M., Floyd, M. & Casper, J.M., (2013). School sport population under two school policies: Comparison by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. , 45(1), 113-121.


Bocarro, J.N., Kanters, M., Cerin, E., Floyd, M.F., Casper, J., Suau, L.J., & McKenzie, T. (2012). School sport policy and school-based physical activity environments and their association with observed physical activity in middle school children. Health & Place, 18, 31-38.

Bruton, C.M., Vurnakes, C., Martin, K., Perry W., & Henderson, K.A. (2012). A case study of a workplace recreation-based physical activity Program. Leisure/Loisir, 36 1-16.

Henderson, K.A. (2012). The contributions of leisure to health and well-being. International Leisure Review, 1, 11-19.

Henderson, K.A., Casper J., Wilson, B., & Dern L. (2012). Behaviors, reasons, and outcomes perceived by senior games participants. Journal of Parks and Recreation Administration, 30(1) 19-35.


Edwards, M.B., Bocarro, J.N., Kanters M.A., & Casper, J.M. (2011). Comparisons of participation in interscholastic and intramural sport programs in middle schools: An exploration of race and gender. Recreation Sports Journal, 35, 157-173.

Floyd, M.F., Bocarro, J.N., Smith, W., Baran, P., Moore, R., Cosco, N., Edwards, M.B., Suau, L.J., & Fang, K.S. (2011). An Examination of individual, social, and environmental correlates of children’s park-based physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 41(3), 258-265.

Edwards, M.B., Kanters, M., & Bocarro, J.N. (2011) Opportunities for extracurricular physical activity in North Carolina middles schools. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8, 597-605.

Bruton, C.B., Floyd, M.F., Bocarro, J.N., Henderson, K.A., Casper, J.M., & Kanters, M.A. (2011). Physical activity and health partnerships among park and recreation departments. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 29(2), 55-68.

Casper, J., Bacarro, J.N., Kanters, M., & Floyd, M.F. (2011). Measurement properties of constraints to sport participation: A psychometric examination with adolescents. Leisure Sciences. 33, 1-20.

Casper, J., Bocarro, J.N., Kanters, M. & Floyd, M.F. (2011). “Just let me play!!” Understanding constraints that limit adolescent sport participation. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 8, S32-39.

Witmer, L., Bocarro, J.N., & Henderson, K.A. (2011). The leisure context of health behaviors for young adolescent girls. Journal of Leisure Research, 43(3), 334-353.

Henderson, K.A. (2011). Physical activity among African American women: Change and ways of knowing. Quest: Advancing Kinesiology in Higher Education, 63(1), 73-84.


Hoehner, C.M., Brownson, R.C., Allen, D., Gramann, J., Behrens, T.K., Floyd, M.F., Leahy, J., Liddle, J.B., Smaldone, D., Spain, D.D., Tardona, D.R., Ruthmann, N.P., Seiler, R.L., & Yount, B.W. (2010). Parks promoting physical activity: Synthesis of findings from interventions in seven national parks. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7 (Supplement), S67-81.

Henderson, K.A., Edwards, M., Casper, J., Bocarro, J., & Floyd, M. (2010). Investigating places for active recreation in rural North Carolina communities. Rural Connections, 5(1) 33-37.


Baran, P.K., Smith, W.R., Turkoglu, H.D., Marans, R.W. & Bolen, F. (2009) Walking behavior in Istanbul; individual attributes, neighborhood context and perceived safety.” A/ZITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, Special Issue: Dossier-Quality of Urban life, 6(1), 21-40.

Bocarro, J.N., Floyd, M.F., Moore, R., Baran, P., Danninger, T., Smith, W., & Cosco, N. (2009). Developing a reliable measure of physical activity among children in different age groups using the System for Observing Physical Activity and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC). Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6(6), 699-707.

Bocarro, J.N., & Wells, M.S. (2009). Making a difference through parks and recreation: Reflections on physical activity, health and wellness research. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 27(3), 1-7.

Whitt-Glover, M.C., Taylor, W.C., Floyd, M.F., Yore, M.M., Yancey, A.K., & Matthews, C.E. (2009). Disparities in physical activity and sedentary behaviours among US children and adolescents: Prevalence, correlates, and intervention implications. Journal of Health Policy, 30, (Supplement 1), S309-S334.

Wilhelm-Stanis, S., Schneider, I.E. & Anderson, D.H. (2009). Parks and public health: leisure time physical activity, constraints and negotiation strategies. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 27(3):21-41.

Bocarro, J., Casper, J., Henderson, K., Floyd, M., Moore, R., Kanters, M., Laven, K., & Edwards, M. (2009). Physical activity promotion in North Carolina: Perceptions of public park and recreation directors. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 27(1), 1-16.

Cardenas, D., Henderson, K.A., & Wilson, B. (2009). Physical activity and senior games participation: Benefits, constraints, and behaviors. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 17(2).

Henderson, K.A. (2009). The paradox of sport management and physical activity. Sport Management Review, 12, 57-65.