This study explored the role of the built environment in supporting healthy lifestyles. The built environment is defined as human-made surroundings, such as buildings, streets, and transportation systems, which support or hinder human activity. Although this topic has gained increasing attention from many researchers over the last several years, the influence of the environment on behaviors and health is not fully understood.
This study recruited identical twins living within defined boundaries of the Puget Sound region. Participation in this study included an in-person visit to our office in Seattle, followed by two weeks of data collection at home. During these two weeks, participants wore a GPS which recorded their locations throughout the day. They also wore an activity monitor which recorded their levels of activity, similar to a pedometer or a Fitbit. They carried a cell phone, provided by the study, to record details about their locations and activities.