Primary Investigator:

Jens Troelsen

Click to view Biosketch

Research Team:
Lars Breum Christiansen, Research Assistant

Mette Toftager, Research Assistant

Charlotte Klinker, Research Assistant

Moveability Study in Danish Cities

Objective and study design
The moveability study is an observational epidemiologic study designed to allow comparisons between neighborhoods stratified based on their "moveability" characteristics from Geographic Information System (GIS) and socio-economic status. The primary aim of the moveability study is to evaluate the relationships between objectively-defined high-walkable (n=8) and low-walkable (n=8) neighborhoods in the two Danish cities, Roskilde and Kolding, and physical activity levels in 500 randomly selected adults (18 – 65 years).

Participant recruitment
Within the neighborhoods, 500 participants will be selected randomly from Civil Registration System. Half of these (n=250) will also wear an accelerometer. After identification of potential participants, recruitment will be done by mail, phone or face to face contact. Recruitment will take place over at least a year to have full range of seasonal variability. A modest incentive will be provided for completing the survey and returning accelerometers.

Subjective measures
The IPAQ long form is used for an evaluation of physical activity in 4 domains: work, household, transportation, and leisure. A reference period of 7 days is used to assess frequency and duration of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activities. The leisure activity outcome will be MET-weighted minutes derived from reported vigorous, moderate, and walking activities. The transport activity outcome will be the summed weekly minutes of walking and cycling for transport. The Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS) is used to assess perceived residential density, land use mix, street connectivity, walking/biking infrastructure, and traffic and crime safety. Access to both public and private recreation facilities is measured by the NEWS. The survey will ask for participants’ height and weight, which will be used to calculate BMI [kg/m2]. Three psychosocial variables will be assessed to allow exploration of potential cultural differences related to physical activity that may have independent associations with outcomes or may interact with built environment variables. Self-efficacy, barriers, and social support may reflect cultural differences in beliefs and social behaviors. Demographic items taken from national surveys will be used to assess age, gender, years of education, annual household income, number of people in the household, race/ethnicity, marital status, automobile ownership, and number of years living at this address.

Objective measures
The Actigraph accelerometer is selected because it is small, unobtrusive and we have extensive experience with its use in Danish cohorts. The Actigraph measures the frequency, duration, and intensity of motion in the vertical plane, and when worn on the hip/waist it accurately reflects weight bearing activities in the laboratory and field. The Actigraph stores minute-by-minute averages of motion. At least 250 participants will be instructed to wear the Actigraph during all waking hours for 7 days. The Actigraphs will be transferred by mail or in person. Once participants return their meters the data will be downloaded in the Meterplus software.

Support of IPEN funds
The IPEN fund facilitates data collection and enables assistance to GIS-analysis of selected neighborhoods. 



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