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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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Paula Louise Hooper, Nicholas Middleton, Matthew Knuiman and Billie Giles-Corti

Background:

There is increasing focus on the influence of neighborhood destinations on a variety of health behaviors. Commercial databases, integrated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are popular sources of destination information for public health researchers. However, the suitability and accuracy of these data for public health research purposes has been generally unexplored.

Methods:

This study validated the presence and number of a broad range of destination types listed within an Australian-based commercial database (Yellow Pages), thought to be important for encouraging health behaviors, against those identified via field audit. The study was conducted in and around 5 housing developments within the RESIDential Environments project across metropolitan Perth, Western Australia.

Results:

Overall agreement of the count of destinations listed within the Yellow Pages ranged from 0.29–0.76, depending on the study area, the timing of the data extract and the geocoding methods used. Results also indicated considerable variation between different extracts from the same commercial dataset, and appreciable over- and under-counting of different destination types compared with field audit findings.

Conclusions:

The choice of database and extraction time and methods, have important implications in the quantification of neighborhood destination mix and robustness of associations with public health behaviors.

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Karin Pfeiffer, Natalie Colabianchi, Marsha Dowda, Dwayne Porter, James Hibbert and Russell R. Pate

Background:

In adults, associations between church attendance and positive health behaviors exist; however, similar evidence among children and youth is lacking. The purposes of this investigation were to examine the associations between physical activity (PA) and church attendance, PA and use of church as a PA facility, and PA and proximity to churches among those who use church as a PA facility (while addressing racial and geographical differences).

Methods:

High school girls (N = 915, age = 17.7 ± 0.6 years, 56% African American) completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall and surveys including demographics and use of PA facilities. Geographic Information Systems data were used to spatially examine the number of churches within a 0.75-mile street network buffer around girls’ homes. Associations were examined using mixed model analyses controlling for demographic factors.

Results:

For the overall sample, total METs (56 versus 52) and proportion of girls meeting PA guidelines (62% vs. 52%) were significantly higher in church attendees versus nonattendees. Among participants who used facilities, having more churches close to home was associated with more PA.

Conclusions:

Church attendance and use are correlates of physical activity that should be further explored and addressed in future intervention research with adolescent girls.

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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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Joanne Hausler, Mark Halaki and Rhonda Orr

Purpose:

To investigate activity profiles of Australian rugby league players during match play by competition, position, and match outcome in the New South Wales (NSW) second-tier competitions.

Methods:

Eighteen NSW Cup (NSWC) and 22 National Youth Competition (NYC) players, participating in this prospective cohort study, were categorized into 3 positional groups: forwards, adjustables, and outside backs. Global positioning system devices were used to examine activity profiles (distance and relative distance covered in walking, jogging, moderate, high, very high, and sprinting speed zones and quantification of high-speed movement) during match play in 21 NSWC and 22 NYC matches (N = 339 files).

Results:

NSWC players performed more sprints (36.5 ± 9.3 vs 28.4 ± 9.2) and greater relative distance in moderate speed zones (18.4 ± 3.2 vs 15.8 ± 3.1 m/min) than NYC. NSWC outside backs covered greater relative distance in jogging (29.4 ± 2.9 vs 24.8 ± 2.7 m/min) and moderate speed zones (17.0 ± 2.6 vs 12.8 ± 2.8 m/min) than their NYC counterparts. Adjustables performed more sprints (39.4 ± 10.1 vs 27.0 ± 9.2), high-intensity accelerations (3.7 ± 1.4 vs 1.9 ± 1.4), and relative distance (84.8 ± 4.3 vs 88.6 ± 4.8 m/min) than forwards and greater relative distance (81.5 ± 3.8 m/min) and sprints (31.0 ± 8.0) than outside backs. Adjustables recorded greater relative distance (19.8 m/min) in moderate speed zones than forwards (16.7 ± 3.1 m/min) and outside backs (14.9 ± 2.7 m/min). Adjustables covered ~685 m more than outside backs during a win.

Conclusions:

This is the first study to document the activity profiles of the NSW second-tier rugby league competition. The findings underscore the elevated match demands of adjustables and indicate higher intensity of play in NSWC than NYC that may more closely resemble the demands of National Rugby League match play.

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Pradeep Y. Ramulu, Emilie S. Chan, Tara L. Loyd, Luigi Ferrucci and David S. Friedman

Background:

Measuring physical at home and away from home is essential for assessing health and well-being, and could help design interventions to increase physical activity. Here, we describe how physical activity at home and away from home can be quantified by combining information from cellular network–based tracking devices and accelerometers.

Methods:

Thirty-five working adults wore a cellular network–based tracking device and an accelerometer for 6 consecutive days and logged their travel away from home. Performance of the tracking device was determined using the travel log for reference. Tracking device and accelerometer data were merged to compare physical activity at home and away from home.

Results:

The tracking device detected 98.6% of all away-from-home excursions, accurately measured time away from home and demonstrated few prolonged signal drop-out periods. Most physical activity took place away from home on weekdays, but not on weekends. Subjects were more physically active per unit of time while away from home, particularly on weekends.

Conclusions:

Cellular network–based tracking devices represent an alternative to global positioning systems for tracking location, and provide information easily integrated with accelerometers to determine where physical activity takes place. Promoting greater time spent away from home may increase physical activity.