Examining combined effects of walkability and recreation environments for physical activity across the life span

Project: Research


  • Marc A Adams (PI)


The American Heart Association recommends physical activity (PA) for prevention of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and related risk factors for older adults, adults, and youth. There is now consistent evidence that physical activity is shaped by neighborhood environments. A difficult challenge is how to capture complex neighborhood typologies or patterns believed to be most strongly related to physical activity and other outcomes. This proposal will attempt to operationalize the concept of 'activity-supportive neighborhoods' to capture the cumulative impact of multiple environmental factors that combined should provide better explanation of physical activity than single variables. Activity-supportive neighborhoods represent a conceptually synergistic pattern that includes walkable city designs, easy access to public transportation, parks and recreation facilities, and few barriers to physical activity for recreation and transportation. State-of-the-science latent profile analysis methods will be used to derive empirical classifications of neighborhoods using existing data from 4 built environment studies with similar research designs and measures conducted independently among seniors (66 ' 97 years; N = 728), adults (20 ' 65 years; N = 2199), adolescents (12 '16 years; N = 903) and children (6 ' 11 years; N = 723). Construct and concurrent validity of derived neighborhood patterns will be tested by their association with CVD risk factors including objective (accelerometer) and self-reported physical activity, sedentary behavior, and BMI. Results from this proposal would help develop an independent career by providing preliminary research for a larger R01 type grant that further develops and evaluates the concept of 'activity-supportive neighborhoods' for CVD prevention.
Award amount$127,149.00
Award date01/01/2012
Program typeBeginning Grant-in-Aid
Award ID12BGIA9280017
Effective start/end date01/01/201212/31/2013