Out and about: association of the built environment with physical activity behaviors of adolescent females

Health Place. 2012 Jan;18(1):55-62. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.08.020. Epub 2011 Sep 16.


Locational data, logged on portable GPS units and matched with accelerometer data, was used to examine associations of the built environment with physical activity and sedentary behaviors of adolescent females. In a sample of 293 adolescent females aged 15 to 18 years old in Minneapolis and San Diego, the built environment around each GPS point and its corresponding sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity was examined using random intercept multinomial logistic regression models. The odds of higher physical activity intensity (3-level outcome: sedentary, light, MVPA) were higher in places with parks, schools, and high population density, during weekdays, and lower in places with more roads and food outlets. Understanding the places where physical activity and sedentary behaviors occur appears to be a promising strategy to clarify relationships and inform policy aimed at increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adolescent
  • California
  • Environment Design* / standards
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • Racial Groups
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors