Measuring the Built Environment for Physical Activity: State of the Science

This study addressed the importance of the development of high-quality measures to understand the impact of the built environment on physical activity.

  • Three categories of the built environment data are critically assessed:
    • perceived measures obtained by telephone interview or self-administered questionnaires
    • observational measures obtained using systematic observational methods (audits)
    • archival data sets hat are often layered and analyzed with GIS
  • This is the first substantial literature on measurement of the built environment for physical activity, a topic that is of importance to both researchers and practitioners
  • Future developments in measuring the built environment and physical activity should continually improve, ensuring relevance for diverse population groups, and integrating built-environment measures into public health surveillance and planning systems

Brownson, Ross C., Hoehner, Christine M., Day, Kristen, Forsyth, Ann, and Sallis, James F. “Measuring the Built environment for Physical Activity: State of the Science”. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 36.4 (2009) S99-S123.

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