Measuring the Environment for Friendliness Toward Physical Activity: A Comparison of the Reliability of 3 Questionnaires

Ross C. Brownson, Jen Jen Chang, Amy A. Eyler, Barbara E. Ainsworth, Karen A. Kirtland, Brian E. Saelens, James F. Sallis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. We tested the reliability of 3 instruments that assessed social and physical environments. Methods. We conducted a test-retest study among US adults (n=289). We used telephone survey methods to measure suitableness of the perceived (vs objective) environment for recreational physical activity and nonmotorized transportation. Results. Most questions in our surveys that attempted to measure specific characteristics of the built environment showed moderate to high reliability. Questions about the social environment showed lower reliability than those that assessed the physical environment. Certain blocks of questions appeared to be selectively more reliable for urban or rural respondents. Conclusions. Despite differences in content and in response formats, all 3 surveys showed evidence of reliability, and most items are now ready for use in research and in public health surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-483
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume94
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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