We compared two strategies for measuring built environment features in their associations with youth physical activity and sedentary behavior across heterogeneous geographies of Pennsylvania. Physical activity environments of communities representing a rural-to-urban gradient were characterized through direct observation and spatially referenced archival data subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. Stratified regression analyses assessed associations between environmental measures and behavioral outcomes by community type. Neither strategy was consistently associated with behavior across communities. Findings highlight the importance of differentiating community type in evaluating associations of the built environment, and the challenge of measuring meaningful differences that influence youth behavior across heterogeneous geographies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health