Using Twitter to investigate seasonal variation in physical activity in urban green space

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Colleges, School and Institutes


To understand how the benefits of outdoor physical activity in urban green spaces are transferred to human populations, consideration must be given to when people are using them, what they are using them for and what factors may affect the use of space. This paper critically evaluates the use of crowdsourced Twitter data in an assessment of physical activity engagement in urban green spaces in an attempt to investigate the potential of these data in investigating urban socio-ecological interactions. A case study is presented in which Twitter data are used to assess the variance of physical activity engagement between two seasons (summer and winter). A number of factors including meteorology, park characteristics and amenities, and the role of organised sports events are explored in order to explain the observed findings. Understanding how physical activity engagement in urban green space varies seasonally is important in ensuring policy interventions to increase physical activity are targeted most effectively.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00041
JournalGeo: Geography and Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017


  • Birmingham, crowdsourcing, ecosystem services, outdoor physical activity, Twitter, UK, urban green space