How do I become an IPEN member?

Fill in the members’ submission form or email us.

What is the advantage of being an IPEN member?

You will be regularly informed of physical activity and the environment research around the world. We can help you publish data relevant to physical activity and the environment. We can support you in writing grant proposals to fund physical activity and the environment research. You may have the opportunity to be funded on grants that we write. You may have the opportunity to submit data for pooled analyses, if collected according to IPEN protocols

Who can be a member of IPEN?

Anyone interested in physical activity and the environment can join IPEN. As a minimum requirement we ask you to keep us informed about research in your country in this field, to send us any relevant publications or funding opportunities and to publicize IPEN to other interested parties around the world.

What kinds of support can I get from IPEN?

Depending on your level of involvement, the IPEN co-ordinators can offer varying levels of support:

1. Promoting your publications on the IPEN website.
2. Sharing our research experience and manuals of operation.
3. Writing letters of support for grant proposals.
4. Reviewing grant proposals.
5. Helping write papers and publish them in international journals.
6. Organizing symposiums, meetings, special editions of journals.
7. Sharing details of successful grant proposals.
8. Acting as paid consultants on funded projects.
9. Pooling and analyzing data.

How do I post my project or paper on this website?

Please use the study details submission form to post details of your project online (study details form). Please send us a pdf of any relevant publications.

Do I need to get my own funding to conduct an IPEN study?

We recommend all countries attempt to get their own funding. We can help with text for writing a grant from our own proposals and can review proposals given enough time. We have secured funding for an adult study which is underway, and submitted a proposal for a youth study. Currently we have assigned the budget to countries with established records in the field. Please contact us if you plan to conduct an IPEN related study or respond to our calls for collaborators when we write a new grant.

What do I need to do to be considered for funding?

We ask that investigators demonstrate a record of research in this field that can be recognized by grant reviewers. We encourage investigators to find funding in their own country that we can then supplement. You need experience in accelerometer data collection and GIS methods, In addition a small pilot in your country using the IPEN survey is recommended. In some instances, for example developing countries, we will try to secure funding to help you start the process of adapting surveys etc.

How can I adapt the IPEN methods to fit with the culture in my country?

We suggest that you translate the core questionnaire items that we have recommended and add items that are relevant to your culture or environment (link to self report item page). You can identify these through formative research and should test new surveys for their reliability and validity. Different countries will also have different geographic and census data available. There are papers from different countries outlining how they have successfully conducted an IPEN study, as well as our IPEN methods paper which shows methods across 13 countries (contact

What first steps should I take to start an IPEN study?

We suggest you form a transdisciplinary team and find other IPEN members to collaborate with in your country or region (IPEN membersí page). Review the literature that we have suggested throughout this site and find out what research is underway in your country or region. Find out what geographic and census data are available through transport and urban planning experts. Investigate funding opportunities. And start to develop an appropriate survey for your country.

Why do the IPEN measures and methods matter?

The measures and methods we recommend are based on tested materials and techniques. The main aim of IPEN is to be able to compare data from multiple sites. To do this there must be some common core of measures and methods. If you want to submit data to a pooled analysis, you need to adhere to our recommended methods and add features relevant to your own study area.

Why does the location of the study matter?

We would like data from a variety of locations in order to maximize the variability in walkability in the pooled data. There are likely to be differences across and within countries. We recommend 2 cities and at least 16 neighborhoods in each city. Each country should also try to measure unique aspects of their particular environment.

What other studies deal with how the environment affects people’s physical activity?

Much of the literature on this topic is archived in the ALR Literature database.

What is going to be done with the information obtained about how the environment affects people’s physical activity or health?

Once our pooled analyses are complete and findings published, we will work with policy makers to use the evidence to improve national and international obesity prevention policies. The Council for Physical Activity & the Environment will be one mechanism for disseminating our study results more widely.

Why is studying the environment important?

By the end of the 1990s there was much evidence to indicate that trying to change individual’s physical activity behavior at a population level was only moderately successful. Environmental studies show more potential for population change, not only because they can reach many people but because the improvements can last a long time. There is now increasingly more research demonstrating a relationship between the environment and physical activity behavior. Many theoretical models, including ecological models, also support the role of the environment in behavior change. There are many aspects to the environment, social, physical, economic and political. There are good examples of summaries of the theories in the special editions of the American Journal of Public Health 2003 (Sept: 93) and the American Journal of Health Promotion 2003 (18:1 Sept/Oct).

What is GIS?

Geographic Information Systems is a process that links geographic information (where things are) with descriptive information (what things are like). Unlike a flat paper map, where "what you see is what you get," GIS can have many layers of information. (getting started with GIS)

I would like to write a paper using IPEN data.

Please submit a publication proposal to the IPEN study team for consideration.

What do I do if I cannot find GIS data in my country?

Typically government agencies store GIS data. If it is unavailable consider doing street audits or using Google Earth images.

How can I contact IPEN members or post messages to members?

Any communication should be sent to the IPEN team to consider and send on. We post conference dates and very relevant links on the home page. We only accept communications that are directly related to physical activity and the built environment research.


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