Proposed Study of Family Fitness Zones in Public Parks of Southern California
The Funding Agency and Study Section
While the National Institute of Health (NIH) has various sub-agencies that can offer grants for the proposed study of family fitness zones in public parks, this research seeks financial assistance from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is an NIH sub-agency that best suits the grant proposal topic because it supports medical research on physical exercise-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity. People require physical activities to help them keep fit and minimize the risk of developing a metabolic illness. In this way, the proposal topic aligns with the NIDDK’s supporting research goals that educate society to embrace healthy behaviors to reduce lifestyle-related diseases. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the NIDDK’s current priority areas involve COVID-19 testing and prevention methods. However, the NIDDK can still support fitness research because regular exercise boosts immunity and makes the COVID-19 vaccine effective. Overall, the NIDDK best suits the grant proposal topic.
Therefore, the Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB) is the most appropriate study section for this research. The study section addresses various topics on how community-level factors prevent or moderate health risks and behaviors. In this case, CIHB aligns with the aims of the proposed study of family fitness zones in public parks. The CIHB considers various applications that involve essential topics, including community physical activity and health-related behaviors. In this way, the study section is suitable because it focuses on the public health context. The CIHB will review the proposed study and justify introducing family fitness zones in public parks to improve a positive attitude towards physical activities.
The ROA involved a study of family fitness zones in public parks. While it provided essential data on the impact of the family fitness zones in public parks, the research had three limitations. The limitations include the observer bias, one follow-up study, and selection bias. The proposed analysis of family fitness zones for older adults in public parks will address and fix selection bias.
The proposed study of family fitness zones in public parks explores the impact of introducing exercise equipment in recreational areas. The study is specific to Southern California. The research has two specific aims and hypotheses.
The research will use the longitudinal study to determine the relationship between introducing family fitness zones in public parks of Southern California and the frequency of people visiting recreational activities for active leisure. With this approach, the research will focus on people’s behaviors before and after installing the training facilities in the public parks. A longitudinal study requires researchers to conduct multiple observations of the target population over a long period. Therefore, this research design will allow the task to take six months. The longitudinal study is suitable for this project because it supports the researchers to use more than one follow-up to collect reliable results. In this way, the study will detect development changes that give essential information for explaining the role of family fitness zones in public parks.
The study will utilize probability sampling methods to limit selection bias. Since the research requires population-based findings, stratified sampling will be the most appropriate technique for obtaining reliable respondents. In this case, the study will target people in public parks and divide them into convenient subgroups. The primary criteria will include the respondents’ age and gender, whether they are new or old visitors in the public parks.
Therefore, the sample selection will include the recruitment and training of research assistants. The co-researchers will be invited to participate in the study by offering them incentives. They will learn how to apply sample-selection criteria to implement adequate stratified sampling.
The study will obtain the sample by creating equal sample sizes from each subgroup. Stratified sampling will enhance precision and the representativeness of the findings by alleviating selection bias. In this case, the study will randomly select 50 people based on their ages and gender. The approach will ensure an equal representation of the target population to improve representativeness.
The study will use surveys and observations to collect data from the participants. With the stratified sampling technique, the research will select random respondents to complete the surveys. The first phase of surveys will occur before the introduction of family fitness zones in public parks. In this case, the targeted subgroups will answer short structured surveys depending on their ages. The study will provide the participants with simple questions to determine their reaction to the improved public parks.
Both surveys and observations will occur two times (morning and afternoon). In the first phase, the study will involve daily data collection for the first two weeks of the research. A follow-up observational study and survey will be conducted after three months. Therefore, data collection will occur within three months.
The study will measure the independent variable (people who visit public parks) by recording their characteristics. The identifiers will include age, gender, and frequency of vising public parks. The dependent variables will be measured by recording the participants’ attitudes towards introducing family fitness zones in public parks.
The objectives of the proposal will be measured by evaluating the response rate. Since the study targets a sample of 50 people, having complete surveys from at least 20 respondents will be considered a success.
Since the study collected data through observations and surveys, it will utilize two analytical techniques for analysis. Firstly, the research will use a mixed effect model to evaluate observational data. The process will involve a random effect for each park to correlate the longitudinal study and follow-up research. Secondly, the study will utilize descriptive analysis to decode survey responses. The approach will allow researchers to present their findings in an understandable way that facilitates simplified interpretation. Therefore, descriptive analyses of the survey responses and mixed-effect model of observational data will improve data analysis.
The study will use human subjects to determine the relationship between family fitness zones in public parks and people’s frequency of visiting these recreational areas. The research will involve people with diverse characteristics, such as age and gender. Therefore, the study will seek the public park’s approval and the participants’ consent and confidentiality.
Consent and confidentiality are the major ethical issues in studies involving human subjects. People visiting the public parks have the right to decline participation in any form of research. Therefore, the study will provide sufficient information to the target participants to make informed decisions. The process ensures that the potential respondents exercise their right to voluntary participation in the research. Consent and confidentiality will mainly assist the study in conducting ethical surveys. In this case, the researchers will not ask for the participant’s personal information, such as name and identification numbers. The approach will increase the potential respondents’ confidence to provide unbiased data for the research.
Since the study involves human subjects, the IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval is pending. FDA requires researchers to seek permission to conduct studies with potential implications to the participants’ wellbeing. Besides, the proposed research of family fitness zones in public parks will seek approval from the public parks’ administration. The process will allow the researchers to cooperate with the management to collect reliable data. In this way, the researchers will gain a fitting environment to investigate the correlation between family fitness zones and individuals’ frequency to visit recreational activities for exercise.
The proposed study of family fitness zones in public parks will comprise data from surveys and observations. The research will include two surveys and observations with approximately 50 subjects in each stage. Therefore, the final data set will comprise self-reported demographic and behavioral data. In this way, the study will exclude identifiers before releasing the findings for sharing. The strategy will enable the researchers to preserve the participants’ identities. Besides, the process will allow the study to meet the data sharing policies of the NIH. According to NIH’s central resource for grants, the organization requires researchers to share study findings with the community to further research. Therefore, the outcomes of this study will be available to the public.
The researchers will share the spreadsheets of the survey without cost to researchers and analysts at https://hrsdata.isr.umich.edu/data-products. The users will require registration to access or download the research from this site. In this case, the users must agree to comply with regulations governing access to the shared spreadsheets of the survey. The primary rule involves restrictions against trying to identify the study respondents. Therefore, the registered users must recognize that this research observed ethical considerations that include participants’ confidentiality. Besides, the users will have to acknowledge the researchers to avoid plagiarism. The information provided to researchers and analysts will be restricted for personal use. Therefore, the users will not be allowed to use the data for commercial purposes or redistribute them to third parties.
The study will approximately take six months. The first milestone will involve creating a sample for data collection before introducing family fitness zones in the selected location. In this phase, the researchers will take one month to obtain data through surveys and observations. The second stage (after three months) will involve developing the training facilities in the targeted parks and comparing events in the improved recreational facilities with those lacking the amenities. In this case, the collected data will act as a follow-up to enhance the study’s accuracy.
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