Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health and Kinesiology

First Advisor

Philip J Troped

Second Advisor

David B Klenosky

Committee Member 1

Robin C Puett

Committee Member 2

William A Harper

Committee Member 3

Hao Zhang


Over the past two decades, an increasing number of scientific studies have examined associations between the built environment and physical activity and obesity. These studies have documented positive associations between environmental variables, such as population density, street connectivity, and composite measures of neighborhood walkability and physical activity. Studies have also shown inverse relationships between the presence of neighborhood grocery stores and recreational facilities and obesity. Despite this evidence, there continues to be limitations in built environment studies conducted to date. The three dissertation studies described here were designed to address several different aspects of built environment research that warrant greater attention.