Suzanne Mavoa

Doctor of Philosophy, (Public Health)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Health

Citation

Thesis Title
Delineating Neighbourhood and Exposure in Built Environment and Physical Activity Research

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Achieving adequate levels of physical activity is important for improving health and reducing the risk of chronic disease. Researchers have established that the characteristics of places we live are related to physical activity levels. However, a limitation of current research is the focus on residential neighbourhoods and uncertainty about the size of neighbourhoods as an important factor for determining physical activity. Ms Mavoa used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods to determine that 800 metres is an appropriate sized residential neighbourhood when assessing the relationship between the environment and adult''sphysical activity. She also used children''sglobal positioning system data to demonstrate that focusing solely on the residential neighbourhood excludes over half of children''sactivity. Based on these results she proposed and tested improved GIS methods to assess exposure to the environment.

Supervisors
Professor Karen Witten
Associate Professor David O'Sullivan

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