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As public health continues to decline and obesity rates hit epidemic levels, there has been increased interest in understanding what characteristics of the built environment may impact the amount of physical activity an individual receives. This paper discusses the utilization of global positioning system (GPS) receivers, physical activity monitors (PAM), meteorological data, and land-cover data to visualize and identify relationships between landscape characteristics of the built environment and an individual’s physical activity levels. This paper showcases a procedure for synchronizing the collected data, describes pitfalls to avoid when conducting a study, and illustrates how the results can be analyzed and visualized in a geographic information system (GIS).


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Expeditionary Education | Landscape Architecture | Psychology of Movement | Public Health Education and Promotion | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


This article is from URISA Journal, 20:2(2008); 5-13. Posted with permission.


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Using Global Position Systems (GPS) and Physical Activity Monitors to Assess the Built Environment