Submitted to: American Journal of Health Promotion
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2005
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Citation: Jago, R., Baranowski, T., Baranowski, J.C. 2006. Observed, GIS, and self-reported environmental features and adolescent physical activity. American Journal of Health Promotion. 20(6):422-428. Interpretive Summary: This cross-sectional study examined the associations among observed (minutes of sedentary, light, and moderate to vigorous activity per day using accelerometry), self-reported and GIS environmental features and physical activity among 210 10- to 14-year-old Boy Scouts in Houston, Texas. Principal components analysis produced three GIS factors (Parks, Crime, and Gyms) and two self-reported factors (Difficulty and Access & Safety). Although environmental variables obtained from self-report, GIS, and direct observation were all interrelated, only one environmental factor, sidewalk characteristics, was associated with sedentary behavior and light intensity physical activity among adolescent males.
Technical Abstract: Purpose: Examine associations among observed, self-reported, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) environmental features and physical activity among adolescent males. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Boy Scout troops and neighborhoods in Houston, Texas. Subjects: Two hundred and ten 10- to 14-year-old Boy Scouts. Measures: Accelerometry to obtain minutes of sedentary, light, and moderate to vigorous activity per day. GIS sources were used to identify the numbers of parks, gymnasiums, trails, bus stops, grocery stores, and restaurants with a 1-mile radius of participant residences as well as residential density, connectivity, and crime. Participants provided a self-report of their environment. Analysis: Principal component analyses was used to reduce the number of GIS and self-reported items. Four factors were previously obtained from direct observations of the neighborhoods. Correlations were conducted among factors and physical activity. Regression models were run in which minutes of sedentary behavior, light, or moderate to vigorous physical activity were the dependent variables and environmental factors were the independent variables. Nonsignificant variables were removed in a backward deletion. Results: Three GIS factors, Parks, Crime, and Gyms, were obtained, as were two self-reported factors: difficulty and access & safety. Factor scores were interrelated and associated with the four observed factors. Only observed sidewalk characteristics were correlated with physical activity and were retained in the regression models. Conclusion: Environmental factors were interrelated. Only sidewalk characteristics were associated with sedentary behavior and light intensity physical activity.