What neighborhood area captures built environment features related to adolescent physical activity?


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Abstract

In research investigating built environment (BE) influences on physical activity (PA), inconsistent neighborhood definitions may contribute to inconsistent findings. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Wave I; 1994–95), we compared associations between moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) and PA facility counts and street connectivity measures (intersection density and link:node ratio) within 1, 3, 5, and 8.05 km of each respondent’s residence (Euclidean neighborhood buffers). BE-MVPA associations varied by BE characteristic, urbanicity, and sex. PA facilities within 3 km buffers and intersection density within 1 km buffers exhibited the most consistent associations with MVPA. Policy recommendations and corresponding research should address potential differences in relevant neighborhood areas across environment feature and population subgroup.

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