A1 Journal article (refereed)
Defining the accessibility of physical activity : Tracing the social dimension (2022)

Virmasalo, I., & Hasanen, E. (2022). Defining the accessibility of physical activity : Tracing the social dimension. Contesti. Città, Territori, Progetti, 2022(2), 59-76. https://doi.org/10.36253/contest-14177

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsVirmasalo, Ilkka; Hasanen, Elina

Journal or seriesContesti. Città, Territori, Progetti



Publication year2022

Publication date31/12/2022


Issue number2

Pages range59-76

PublisherFirenze university press

Publication countryItaly

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/85333


The promotion of the physical activity (PA) of citizens has traditionally focused on improving spatial accessibility, especially in municipal administrations. However, research evidence indicates that proximity to PA environments is not a sufficient condition for increased PA. This article presents a broader model of the dimensions of the accessibility of PA, developed in cooperation between researchers and the authorities of two cities in Finland. As a result, ten dimensions affecting accessibility have been identified: spatial, temporal, physical/technological, informational, economic, legal/ administrative, cultural/attitudinal, skills related, mental and social. A special focus of attention is on the most neglected dimension: the social. In addition to the dimensional typology, the article presents a view of the PA accessibility process in which the social dimension plays a significant role as a mediating level between the enabling factors and the decisions made by individuals.

Keywordshealth promotionphysical activityphysical trainingsports grounds and physical exercise facilitiesaccessibilitysocioeconomic factorsurban designparticipatory planning

Free keywordssocial accessibility; co-development; Finland

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating0

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:46