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Marc A. Adams, Sherry Ryan, Jacqueline Kerr, James F. Sallis, Kevin Patrick, Lawrence D. Frank and Gregory J. Norman

Background:

Concurrent validity of Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) items was evaluated with objective measures of the built environment using geographic information systems (GIS).

Methods:

A sample of 878 parents of children 10 to 16 years old (mean age 43.5 years, SD = 6.8, 34.8% non-White, 63.8% overweight) completed NEWS and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. GIS was used to develop 1-mile street network buffers around participants’ residences. GIS measures of the built environment within participants’ buffers included percent of commercial and institutional land uses; number of schools and colleges, recreational facilities, parks, transit stops, and trees; land topography; and traffic congestion.

Results:

Except for trees and traffic, concordance between the NEWS and GIS measures were significant, with weak to moderate effect sizes (r = −0.09 to −0.36, all P ≤ 01). After participants were stratified by physical activity level, stronger concordance was observed among active participants for some measures. A sensitivity analysis of self-reported distance to 15 neighborhood destinations found a 20-minute (compared with 10- or 30-minute) walking threshold generally had the strongest correlations with GIS measures.

Conclusions:

These findings provide evidence of the concurrent validity of self-reported built environment items with objective measures. Physically active adults may be more knowledgeable about their neighborhood characteristics.

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William Hansen, Ned Kalapasev, Amy Gillespie, Mary Singler and Marsha Ball

Background:

Rising obesity rates in the United States has spurred efforts by health advocates to encourage more active lifestyles including walking. Ensuring the availability, quality, and safety of pedestrian walkways has become an important issue for government at all levels.

Methods:

Pedestrian paths in Campbell County Kentucky were evaluated using a ranking criteria developed by the Walking and Bicycling Suitability Assessment (WABSA) project at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. A pedestrian path Geographic Information System (GIS) data-layer was created, and mobile GIS units were used to assess the sidewalk segments using the ranking. Data from sidewalk surveys were compared with Census 2000 block group information on age of housing, population density, and household transportation characteristics to examine the correlation between these factors and sidewalk presence and quality. The analysis explored the use of census data to predict walkability factors and looked for trends in quality and availability of pedestrian paths over time.

Results:

Results showed higher overall scores for older urban areas adjacent to the Ohio River and Cincinnati. Housing built in the 1970s and 1980s showed the lowest scores, while more recent housing showed improvement over earlier decades. Age of housing was determined to be a useful predictor, while economic and population density attributes showed no correlation with walkability factors.

Conclusion:

Census housing age data are the most useful predictor of walkability demonstrating clear trends over time. The study shows improvements in walkways availability over the past few decades; however, infrastructure improvements are needed to provide more extensive pedestrian walkways and linkages between existing walkways in Campbell County.

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Chad Seifried

This exploratory research investigation focused on the concept of human extensibility and sought to introduce the topic to the sport management literature. The purpose of this inquiry on human extensibility centered on attempting to better understand how professionalized sport facilities embrace communication technology to help virtual and remote spectators become extensible agents. The space-time path of both a high and low-identified sport fan was tracked through the creation of a Geographic Information System (GIS) based model to help explain the extensibility phenomenon. The GIS-based diagrams were established with the help of data collected from a space-time diary, video camera, and participant interviews. Professionalized sport facilities enjoy the space and ability to incorporate highly technical structures within their confines to help improve human extensibility, however, people must possess the resources (i.e., time and money), desire, and knowledge to exploit the technology. The researcher suggests future producers of sport products will benefit both publicly and financially with this emphasis. Finally, this research endeavor offers further discussion and predictions on newer technology emerging that professionalized sport facilities will or should likely embrace in the future to improve extensibility for all types of fans and to create, maintain, and/or secure greater fan identification.

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Kosuke Tamura, Jeffrey S. Wilson, Robin C. Puett, David B. Klenosky, William A. Harper and Philip J. Troped

(ie, visually represented the last point recorded during that minute) and then manually inspected all the GPS monitoring minutes by overlaying the data on publicly available high-resolution aerial photography and other geographic information system (GIS) data sources (ie, OpenStreetMap: https

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Jerome N. Rachele, Vincent Learnihan, Hannah M. Badland, Suzanne Mavoa, Gavin Turrell and Billie Giles-Corti

difficult for policy makers to assess whether, and which, urban design principles are effective in encouraging more walking for transport. Creating spatial geographic information system (GIS) measures that are derived from policy are useful for monitoring the success (or otherwise) of current policy and

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Mika R. Moran, Perla Werner, Israel Doron, Neta HaGani, Yael Benvenisti, Abby C. King, Sandra J. Winter, Jylana L. Sheats, Randi Garber, Hadas Motro and Shlomit Ergon

Positioning System (GPS) tracking routes. The GPS routes were then coded into a geographic information system (GIS) in order to calculate environmental measures (aim 1) and the DT’s outcomes went through qualitative content analysis (aim 2). The third study aim was addressed by converting the content analysis

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Kirsi E. Keskinen, Merja Rantakokko, Kimmo Suomi, Taina Rantanen and Erja Portegijs

Age” project described earlier ( Rantanen et al., 2012 ). To enable objectively defining neighborhood type and neighborhood characteristics for each participant, the participants’ home addresses were geocoded using the Digiroad data set ( Finnish Transport Agency, 2013 ) in the geographic information

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Javier Molina-García and Ana Queralt

rather than subjective (perception metrics) neighborhood evaluation methods, not all of these studies were based on objective environmental measurements such as geographical information system (GIS) data, and the approaches used to measure built environments were inconsistent. 10 The variability in the

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Stephen Hunter, Andrei Rosu, Kylie D. Hesketh, Ryan E. Rhodes, Christina M. Rinaldi, Wendy Rodgers, John C. Spence and Valerie Carson

L , Pearce J , Kavanagh A . Using geographic information systems (GIS) to assess the role of the built environment in influencing obesity: a glossary . Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act . 2011 ; 8 ( 1 ): 71 . doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-71 21722367 10.1186/1479-5868-8-71 51. Tremblay MS , Chaput

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Ann Forsyth, Kathryn H. Schmitz, Michael Oakes, Jason Zimmerman and Joel Koepp

Background:

Interdisciplinary research regarding how the built environment influences physical activity has recently increased. Many research projects conducted jointly by public health and environmental design professionals are using geographic information systems (GIS) to objectively measure the built environment. Numerous methodological issues remain, however, and environmental measurements have not been well documented with accepted, common definitions of valid, reliable variables.

Methods:

This paper proposes how to create and document standardized definitions for measures of environmental variables using GIS with the ultimate goal of developing reliable, valid measures. Inherent problems with software and data that hamper environmental measurement can be offset by protocols combining clear conceptual bases with detailed measurement instructions.

Results:

Examples demonstrate how protocols can more clearly translate concepts into specific measurement.

Conclusions:

This paper provides a model for developing protocols to allow high quality comparative research on relationships between the environment and physical activity and other outcomes of public health interest.