Adaptation of the system for observing play and recreation in communities (SOPARC) for the measurement of physical activity in jail settings

Ricky Camplain, Travis A. Pinn, Heather J. Williamson, George Pro, Lyle Becenti, James Bret, Crystal Luna, Julie A. Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Over 9 million people are incarcerated in jail each year, but physical activity has not been assessed among incarcerated populations. Measuring physical activity in the jail setting is complicated as current physical activity measurement tools are not designed for use inside jail facilities. Therefore, we adapted an evidence-based physical activity measurement tool, the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC), to assess physical activity within a jail facility. SOPARC was designed to obtain observational information on physical activity of individuals. The study team created a protocol for SOPARC for use in jail facilities. Unlike the original SOPARC, access to recreation time in jail required prior scheduling. Target areas were unnecessary as recreation spaces were enclosed. The adapted SOPARC protocol for jails included start and end times, the number of individuals that attended, and recreation time users’ physical activity levels, footwear, outerwear, uniform color, and use of mobility assistive devices. The use of SOPARC in the jail setting requires adaptation to adequately capture physical activity data among incarcerated individuals. Accurately measuring physical activity among incarcerated individuals and the environment in which they are active may allow for future development and testing of physical activity interventions in jail facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number349
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Incarceration
  • Jail
  • Measurement
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptation of the system for observing play and recreation in communities (SOPARC) for the measurement of physical activity in jail settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this