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On distinguishing between physically active and physically passive episodes and between travel and activity episodes: an analysis of weekend recreational participation in the San Francisco Bay area

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Abstract

This paper examines the out-of-home recreational episode participation of individuals over the weekend, with a specific focus on analyzing the determinants of participation in physically active versus physically passive pursuits and travel versus activity episodes (travel episodes correspond to recreational pursuits without any specific out-of-home location, such as walking, bicycling around the block, and joy-riding in a car, while activity episodes are pursued at a fixed out-of-home location, such as playing soccer at the soccer field and swimming at an aquatics center). The above disaggregation of recreational episodes facilitates the better analysis and modeling of activity-travel attributes, such as travel mode, episode duration, time-of-day of participation and location of participation. From a broader societal standpoint, the disaggregation of recreational episodes provides important information to encourage active participatory recreational pursuits, which can serve to relieve mental stress, improve the physical health of the population, and contribute to a socially vibrant society through increased interactions among individuals. The paper employs a mixed multinomial logit formulation for examining out-of-home recreational episode type participation using the 2000 San Francisco Bay area travel survey. A variety of variables, including individual and household sociodemographics, location attributes, and day of week and seasonal effects, are considered in the model specification. Individual-specific unobserved factors affecting the propensity to participate in different types of recreational episodes are also accommodated.

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