Assessment of park paths and trails to promote physical accessibility among wheelchair users in Saudi Arabia

Hadeel R. Bakhsh, Tracy Chippendale, Najat Al-Haizan, Bodor H. Bin Sheeha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Individuals with mobility disabilities are less likely to meet physical activity standards and are at greater risk of developing non-communicable chronic diseases at earlier ages. Public parks are an essential resource for participation in physical activity. However, environmental factors may limit the participation of wheelchair users. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using the Path Environment Audit Tool (PEAT) and to explore the wheelchair accessibility of five public parks in Saudi Arabia through descriptive analysis. Methods: A descriptive study design was implemented to evaluate wheelchair accessibility features of five public parks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and process, resource, and management assessments were conducted. Phone GPS-App Strava was used to track the segments and measure their distances. Results: Audits in multiple parks using PEAT were time-consuming despite being user-friendly. The descriptive analysis of paths and trails across the five parks showed some positive features, such as adequate bollard/gate clearance, but the path slope and condition of the path surfaces were more variable. Conclusion: This study is the first to examine wheelchair accessibility in public parks in Saudi Arabia. Preliminary audits of paths/trials in five public parks revealed the strengths and weaknesses of accessibility and features that promote physical activity participation for wheelchair users. These findings can guide future use of PEAT in large-scale studies and inform environmental modifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalHong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Environment
  • disability
  • health promotion
  • walkability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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