Comparing objective measures of the built environment in their associations with youth physical activity and sedentary behavior across heterogeneous geographies

Melissa N. Poulsen, Emily A. Knapp, Annemarie G. Hirsch, Lisa Bailey-Davis, Jonathan Pollak, Brian S. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Place
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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