Cross-Sectional Study of Location-Based Built Environments, Physical Activity, Dietary Intake, and Body Mass Index in Adult Twins

Duncan GE, Sun F, Avery AR, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Tsang S, Williams BD. We examined relationships between walkability and health behaviors between and within identical twin pairs, considering both home (neighborhood) walkability and each twin’s measured activity space. Continuous activity and location data (via accelerometry and GPS) were obtained in 79 pairs over 2 […]

Epigenome-wide association study of physical activity and physiological parameters in discordant monozygotic twins

Duncan GE, Avery A, Thorson JLM, Nilsson EE, Beck D, Skinner MK. An epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) was performed on buccal cells from monozygotic-twins (MZ) reared together as children, but who live apart as adults. Cohorts of twin pairs were used to investigate associations between neighborhood walkability and objectively measured physical activity (PA) levels. Due […]

Cross-sectional associations between neighbourhood walkability and objective physical activity levels in identical twins

Duncan GE, Avery AR, Hurvitz P, Vernez-Moudon A, Tsang S Objectives  Physical activity is a cornerstone of chronic disease prevention and treatment, yet most US adults do not perform levels recommended for health. The neighborhood–built environment (BE) may support or hinder physical activity levels. This study investigated whether identical twins who reside in more walkable […]

GPS-based built environment measures associated with adult physical activity

Boakye KA, Amram O, Schuna JM, Duncan GE, Hystad P. Studies often rely on home locations to access built environment (BE) influences on physical activity (PA). We use GPS and accelerometer data collected for 288 individuals over a two-week period to examine eight GPS-derived BE characteristics and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and light-to-moderate-vigorous PA (LMVPA). NDVI, […]

Measurement of neighborhood-based physical activity bouts

Duncan GE, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Avery AR, Tsang S. This study examined how buffer type (shape), size, and the allocation of activity bouts inside buffers that delineate the neighborhood spatially produce different estimates of neighborhood-based physical activity. A sample of 375 adults wore a global positioning system (GPS) data logger and accelerometer over 2 […]

Using Smart City Technology to Make Healthcare Smarter

Cook DJ, Duncan G, Sprint G, Fritz R. Smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to scale services include utilities and transportation to a growing population. In this article we discuss how smart city ICT can also improve healthcare effectiveness and lower healthcare cost for smart city residents. We survey current literature and introduce […]

Cross Sectional Association between Spatially Measured Walking Bouts and Neighborhood Walkability

Hwang LD, Hurvitz PM, Duncan GE Walking is the most popular choice of aerobic physical activity to improve health among U.S. adults. Physical characteristics of the home neighborhood can facilitate or hinder walking. The purpose of this study was to quantify neighborhood walking, using objective methods and to examine the association between counts of walking […]

Stepping towards causation in studies of neighborhood and environmental effects: How twin research can overcome problems of selection and reverse causation

Duncan GE, Mills B, Strachan E, Hurvitz P, Huang R, Moudon AV, Turkheimer E No causal evidence is available to translate associations between neighborhood characteristics and health outcomes into beneficial changes to built environments. Observed associations may be causal or result from uncontrolled confounds related to family upbringing. Twin designs can help neighborhood effects studies […]

Emerging technologies for assessing physical activity behaviors in space and time

Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Kang B, Saelens BE, Duncan GE Precise measurement of physical activity is important for health research, providing a better understanding of activity location, type, duration, and intensity. This article describes a novel suite of tools to measure and analyze physical activity behaviors in spatial epidemiology research. We use individual-level, high-resolution, objective […]