Longitudinal associations between neighborhood environmental factors (gasoline price and street attributes) and individual physical activity Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Hou, Ningqi
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Nutrition
  • Background: Physical activity (PA) may be influenced by environmental factors. As part of the socioeconomic environment, gasoline price is a key component of the cost of driving and may influence individuals' transportation modes and PA; as part of the built-environment, street attributes such as connectivity are hypothesized to be supportive of PA, particularly street-based PA (SBPA). Methods: This research used secondary data from CARDIA study, a prospective cohort of young adults (N=5115 at baseline, 1985-86) followed through 2000-01 with three repeated examinations. Based on a PA history questionnaire administered at each examination, we calculated PA scores in exercise units (EU) by intensity and frequency of 13 PA categories, and characterized SBPA as total frequency of walking, bicycling, and jogging/running. The individual-level CARDIA data were spatially and temporally linked to multiple environmental datasets by participants' time-varying residential locations, using Geographic Information Systems technology. This dissertation follows two aims. Aim 1 consists of analysis examining longitudinal association between inflation-adjusted, county-level gasoline price and PA, using a random-effect longitudinal regression model and two-part marginal effect models. Aim 2 is to investigate longitudinal association between neighborhood street attributes (intersection density, link-node ratio, and characteristics of local roads) and SBPA, using the two-part marginal effect modeling, by urbanicity and gender. Results: A $.25 increase in gasoline price was significantly associated with an increase of 11.6EU in total PA score (95% CI: 2.5-20.6). Gasoline price was also positively associated with jogging/running and non-strenuous sports that do not generally involve driving, and inversely associated with bowling and racket sports that generally involve car travel. A 1 standard deviation increase in intersection density (~15/km2 additional intersections) was associated with a ~5% increase in SBPA in low urbanicity areas, where density of local roads was also positively associated with SBPA, but null or negative in middle/high urbanicity areas. Conclusions: Gasoline price was positively associated with overall PA, suggesting some additional PA is done in place of driving. Characteristics of neighborhood streets may influence SBPA of adult residents, particularly in rural areas. This research may inform policy efforts to encourage PA at population level.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Nutrition."
  • Popkin, Barry
  • Gordon-Larsen, Penny
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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