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Neighborhood-Based Differences in Physical Activity: An Environment Scale Evaluation

By Brian E. Saelens, James F. Sallis, Jennifer B. Black, Diana Chen

Category Journal Articles

Objectives. This study evaluated a neighborhood environment survey and compared the physical activity and weight status of the residents in 2 neighborhoods.

Methods. On 2 occasions, 107 adults from neighborhoods with differing “walkability” were selected to complete a survey on their neighborhood environment. Physical activity was assessed by self-report and by accelerometer; height and weight were assessed by self-report.

Results. Neighborhood environment characteristics had moderate to high test–retest reliabilities. Residents of high-walkability neighborhoods reported higher residential density, land use mix, street connectivity, aesthetics, and safety. They had more than 70 more minutes of physical activity and had lower obesity prevalence (adjusted for individual demographics) than did residents of low-walkability neighborhoods.

Conclusions. The reliability and validity of self-reported neighborhood environment subscales were supported. Neighborhood environment was associated with physical activity and overweight prevalence.


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2003
Publication Title American Journal of Public Health
Volume 93
Pages 1552-1558
DOI 10.2105/AJPH.93.9.1552
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Environment
  2. Health
  3. neighborhoods
  4. open access
  5. physical activity
  1. open access