Human Mobility, Exposure to the Built Environment, and Health
Scully, Jason Y.
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Neighborhood effects on health and behavior have been widely documented. Yet people do not spend all their time in their home neighborhoods. The places that people visit away from home may also have an impact on behavior. Using global positioning systems (GPS) records and self-reported travel diaries, this dissertation investigates associations between mobility patterns/activity spaces, environmental exposures, and health. It examines the level of agreement between GPS and travel diary data. It then presents a novel method for measuring exposure to point features, using fast food restaurants (FFRs) as an example data set, to estimate time spent in proximity to FFRs throughout the average day. Finally, it explores the relationship between the probability of being obese and exposure to residential property values across the entire activity space Travel-diary-reported visits to fast food restaurants and supermarkets were confirmed with GPS data 77% and 79% of the time, respectively. Findings show that participants spent 17 minutes per day within 100m of FFRs and that longer durations spent within 100m of FFRs significantly increased the odds of reporting an FFR visit, suggesting that duration of exposure to FFRs has an effect on visiting FFRs. Lastly, higher residential property values within participant activity space were associated with decreases in the odds of being obese, suggesting that being exposed to wealthier environments was protective of being obese.
- Urban planning