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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 548910, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Personal and Built Environment Attributes to Physical Activity: A Multilevel Analysis on Multiple Population-Based Data Sources

1School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 North, Virginia Street, MS 274, Reno, NV 89557, USA
2Department of Nutrition, University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 NV, Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557, USA

Received 27 October 2011; Revised 23 February 2012; Accepted 4 March 2012

Academic Editor: Norbert Schmitz

Copyright © 2012 Wei Yang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Studies have documented that built environment factors potentially promote or impede leisure time physical activity (LTPA). This study explored the relationship between multiple built environment factors and individual characteristics on LTPA. Methods. Multiple data sources were utilized including individual level data for health behaviors and health status from the Nevada Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and community level data from different data sources including indicators for recreation facilities, safety, air quality, commute time, urbanization, population density, and land mix level. Mixed model logistic regression and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis were conducted. Results. Among 6,311 respondents, 24.4% reported no LTPA engagement during the past 30 days. No engagement in LTPA was significantly associated with (1) individual factors: older age, less education, lower income, being obesity, and low life satisfaction and (2) community factors: more commute time, higher crime rate, urban residence, higher population density, but not for density and distance to recreation facilities, air quality, and land mix. Conclusions. Multiple data systems including complex population survey and spatial analysis are valuable tools on health and built environment studies.