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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Jago, Russell
item Baranowski, Thomas
item Harris, Michael

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2006
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Jago, R., Baranowski, T., Harris, M. 2006. Relationships between GIS environmental features and adolescent male physical activity: GIS coding differences. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 3(2):230-242.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript reported on the relationships between an assessment of the environments in which children live within 400m and 1 mi, or distance to nearest facility and their level of physical activity. The correlates of physical activity varied by the method of assessing the environment. Future research will need to more clearly conceptualize how distance should influence these relationships and include the most theoretically meaningful variables.

Technical Abstract: Background: It is not clear if relationships between GIS obtained environmental features and physical activity differ according to the method used to code GIS data. Methods: Physical activity levels of 210 Boy Scouts were measured by accelerometer. Numbers of parks, trails, gymnasia, bus stops, grocery stores, and restaurants within the commonly used 400 m and 1-mile (1609.3 m) buffers of subject residences and distance to the nearest feature were calculated. Residential density, connectivity, and crime rate were calculated. Regression models with minutes of sedentary, light, or moderate-to-vigorous activity as dependent variables and environmental and demographics as independent variables were run with backward deletion of environmental variables. Results: Park, crime, and gym variables were associated with physical activity, but relationships varied according to whether a 400 m, 1 mile, or nearest criteria was used. Conclusion: Environmental variables were associated with the physical activity of adolescent males, but the association was method dependent.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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