Environmental measures of physical activity supports

Perception versus reality

Karen A. Kirtland, Dwayne E. Porter, Cheryl L. Addy, Matthew J. Neet, Joel E. Williams, Patricia A. Sharpe, Linda J. Neff, C. Dexter Kimsey, Barbara Ainsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

242 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Perceptions of the environment and physical activity have been associated using survey methods, yet little is known about the validity of environmental surveys. In this study, perceptions of the environment at neighborhood and community levels were assessed (1) to determine validity by comparing respondent perceptions to objective measures and (2) to determine test-retest reliability of the survey. Methods: A telephone survey was administered to a stratified sample of Sumter County, South Carolina adults. Respondents' home addresses were mapped using a geographic information system (GIS) (n =1112). As an indicator of validity, kappa statistics were used to measure agreement between perceptions and objective measures identified at neighborhood and community levels using GIS. A second survey in an independent sample (n=408) assessed test-retest reliability. Results: When assessing perceptions of environmental and physical activity in a defined geographic area, validity and reliability for neighborhood survey items were κ=-0.02 to 0.37 and rho=0.42 to 0.74, and for community survey items were κ=-0.07 to 0.25 and rho=0.28 to 0.56. Conclusions: Although causality between perception of access and safety and actual physical activity level cannot be assumed, those meeting national physical activity guidelines or reporting some physical activity demonstrated greatest agreement with access to recreation facilities, while those not meeting the guidelines demonstrated greater agreement with safety of recreation facilities. Factors such as distance and behavior may explain differences in perceptions at neighborhood and community levels. Using local environments with short distances in survey methods improves validity and reliability of results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-331
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Reproducibility of Results
Recreation
Geographic Information Systems
Surveys and Questionnaires
Guidelines
Safety
Telephone
Causality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Kirtland, K. A., Porter, D. E., Addy, C. L., Neet, M. J., Williams, J. E., Sharpe, P. A., ... Ainsworth, B. (2003). Environmental measures of physical activity supports: Perception versus reality. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 24(4), 323-331. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0749-3797(03)00021-7

Environmental measures of physical activity supports : Perception versus reality. / Kirtland, Karen A.; Porter, Dwayne E.; Addy, Cheryl L.; Neet, Matthew J.; Williams, Joel E.; Sharpe, Patricia A.; Neff, Linda J.; Kimsey, C. Dexter; Ainsworth, Barbara.

In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 24, No. 4, 05.2003, p. 323-331.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kirtland, KA, Porter, DE, Addy, CL, Neet, MJ, Williams, JE, Sharpe, PA, Neff, LJ, Kimsey, CD & Ainsworth, B 2003, 'Environmental measures of physical activity supports: Perception versus reality', American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 323-331. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0749-3797(03)00021-7
Kirtland, Karen A. ; Porter, Dwayne E. ; Addy, Cheryl L. ; Neet, Matthew J. ; Williams, Joel E. ; Sharpe, Patricia A. ; Neff, Linda J. ; Kimsey, C. Dexter ; Ainsworth, Barbara. / Environmental measures of physical activity supports : Perception versus reality. In: American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2003 ; Vol. 24, No. 4. pp. 323-331.
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