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Physical Activity, Environment, and Their Measurements

Physical activities are some of the most important factors in the human body’s development, in certain instances, it becomes the main factor that helps facilitate development. It is one of the factors that help reduce health risks although this possibility is possible, it is reported that a good percentage of the American population does not engage in physical activities. Leisure time is one of the best moments seen possible to engage in these particular activities that help engage the standard forms of daily living and help in the promotion of health standards all over the human body.

These activities are usually carried out in various distinctive places that are specific and offer the space and environment for it, these include parks, fitness centers, schools, and even streets. There are stated build environments that help contribute to the policies that significantly help in the promotion of a physical environment(Sallis,2009). Several diseases are related to the food environment i.e. diet and other food-related chronic diseases, these have to be placed in order just to help avoid the problems of physically related diseases.

There are special significant aspects that help in defining the physical aspects of the food environment these include the definition of geographic limits of the food environment, accurate definition of the food sources, accessing the use of pre-prepared food sources, and the documentation of the variation in food accessibility within stores(Sallis,2009). There are significant frequently assessed variables that are used specifically to validate the built environments for physical activity, these include; street patterns, population density, land use, sidewalk coverage, crime, vehicular traffic, access to recreational facilities, and composite variables index.

The most common factor included in the studies of the built environment includes population this is primarily because the data used in the calculation of this is readily available. Data is collected through the population census records of the government to help in computation and is consistently associated. Land use has been a significant factor in various countries, most of the multiple shares of the land mix.

Various frameworks have been used in the past to develop and aid research in finding out which resources help influence the physical environment, these include functional, safety, aesthetic, and destination domains (Brownson et al, 2009). Significant data has been collected on the perceived environment by telephone or in person to measure the various indicators. Questions are also administered as part of the research process to gain the required data.

There are types of validity that are regarded as the most important aspects of the validity process, these include content validity, criterion-related validity, and construct validity. content validity tends to signify the extent to which an instrument measures the appropriate content and represents the variety of attributes of the measured content (Brownson et al,2009). Construct validity refers to the degree to which a measure behaves in a way that is consistent with the theoretical hypothesis. all these in place then criterion-related validity goes ahead to become the measure of the same attribute as being predictive of some gold standard measure

Interviews or self-administrations are some of the ways used to collect perceived environmental data, these methods tend to present challenges with a common problem being the declining response rates for all four methods of data collection(Ball,2008). Long questionnaires can also affect negatively the response rates thus it is important to pick as short as possible questionnaires and measure what is needed for the project.

Significant methods have been used to help measure physical activity which is usually done in specific types of places, these environments include parks, fitness centers, schools, and even streets. These sites have enabled the increase in scientific interest in measuring physical activity environments (Sallis, 2009). Human nature tends to determine access to a specific and suitable physical environment since some places are physically activity friendly. These environments tend to encompass built and natural environments since they are broadly defined environments that are regarded as physically active.

Several measures have been used to look into the measure of physical activity environments, a systematic review of the scientific measure used qualitative methods to significantly be used to measure the significance of the physical activities and areas(Kelly et al, 2006). The areas that have been included include public health, exercise science and behavioral science, recreation, and leisure science, and even city planning.

Behaviors of interest tend to state that according to research, the operant learning model provided the conceptual and methodological background for physical environmental measurements, and this theory was majorly based on rewards and punishment as a model (Kelly et al,2006). This further made a study on programmed machines whereby there were developments of systematic observations and coding, methods for environments, and behaviors that formed the background for many of the recent physical environmental measures.

Various ways have been used to help elaborate and discuss the food environment and help underserved populations all over. These issues are classified into physical, consumer, and social aspects: the physical aspects go ahead to broadly elaborate definition of the geographic limits of the food environment, active identification of the food environment, documenting of variations in the accessibility of foods, and access use of the prepared food sources(Sharma,2009). Consumer-related aspects of the food environment go ahead to distinctively open the environment towards determining the availability of fresh food produce, documenting the adequacy of the food supply, recording relevant aspects of food pricing, assessing the relevance towards food assistance program participation, and determining perceptions of food quality.

Socially, food retailers tend to react friendly to the consumers towards food reception and acquisition, they did this through documentation of stocks of the locally gathered and hunted foods in stores, assessing the language and related cultural factors, and also determining the prevalence of interhousehold food sharing (Sharma,2009). It was also recommended that the assessment of food stores should include information to access food already stored, consideration of the social aspects of the food environment, and systematic assessment of the food environment to be based on prior formative research.

For a good and sustainable creation of food sustainability in low-income areas, it requires a good and elaborate way to help deal with food production, food distribution, and adequate food sourcing and storage.


Sallis, J. F. (2009). Measuring physical activity environments: a brief history. American journal of preventive medicine, 36(4), S86-S92.

Brownson, R. C., Hoehner, C. M., Day, K., Forsyth, A., & Sallis, J. F. (2009). Measuring the built environment for physical activity: state of the science. American Journal of preventive medicine, 36(4), S99-S123.

Kelly, C. M., Hoehner, C. M., Baker, E. A., Ramirez, L. K. B., & Brownson, R. C. (2006). Promoting physical activity in communities: Approaches for successful evaluation of programs and policies. Evaluation and Program Planning, 29(3), 280-292.

Gittelsohn, J., & Sharma, S. (2009). Physical, consumer, and social aspects of measuring the food environment among diverse low-income populations. American journal of preventive medicine, 36(4), S161-S165.

Ball, K., Jeffery, R. W., Crawford, D. A., Roberts, R. J., Salmon, J., & Timperio, A. F. (2008). Mismatch between perceived and objective measures of physical activity environments. Preventive medicine, 47(3), 294-298.


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