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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(4), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7040143

Environmental Influences on Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity in the U.S.: An Exploration of Spatial Non-Stationarity

1
Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Natural History Building, MC-150, 1301 W Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2
Illinois Informatics Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, MC-257, 1205 W Clark St., Urbana, IL 61801, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoprocessing in Public and Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Considerable research has been conducted to advance our understanding of how environmental factors influence people’s health behaviors (e.g., leisure-time physical inactivity) at the neighborhood level. However, different environmental factors may operate differently at different geographic locations. This study explores the inconsistent findings regarding the associations between environmental exposures and physical inactivity. To address spatial autocorrelation and explore the impact of spatial non-stationarity on research results which may lead to biased estimators, this study uses spatial regression models to examine the associations between leisure-time physical inactivity and different social and physical environmental factors for all counties in the conterminous U.S. By comparing the results with the conventional ordinary least squares regression and spatial lag model, the geographically weighted regression model adequately addresses the problem of spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I of the residual = 0.0293) and highlights the spatial non-stationarity of the associations. The existence of spatial non-stationarity that leads to biased estimators, which were often ignored in past research, may be another reason for the inconsistent findings in previous studies besides the modifiable areal unit problem and the uncertain geographic context problem. Also, the observed associations between environmental variables and leisure-time physical inactivity are helpful for developing location-based policies and interventions to encourage people to undertake more physical activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; spatial regression; spatial autocorrelation; spatial non-stationarity; environmental health; GIS physical activity; spatial regression; spatial autocorrelation; spatial non-stationarity; environmental health; GIS
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Wang, J.; Lee, K.; Kwan, M.-P. Environmental Influences on Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity in the U.S.: An Exploration of Spatial Non-Stationarity. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 143.

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