The use of photographs to study environment–physical activity relationships

Jelle Van Cauwenberg, V. Van Holle, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Peter Clarys, Lea Maes, Liesbet Goubert, Nico Van De Weghe, J. Salmon, J. Nasar, Benedicte Deforche

Onderzoeksoutput: Meeting abstract (Book)



This symposium aims to discuss the use, strengths, limitations and future research opportunities of "innovative" methodologies (i.e. GPS, ecological momentary assessment, digital life logging, and photographs) to study environment-health behavior relationships.


During the last decade, a multitude of studies have examined environment-health behavior relationships. Typically, these studies had a cross-sectional design in which participants' health behaviors were linked to subjective (i.e. questionnaires targeting environmental perceptions) or objective measurements (i.e. Geographic Information Systems or audit instruments) of their neighborhood environments. Although these methods have provided interesting and useful information, several shortcomings can be identified. First, knowledge of where people actually are physically active or sedentary and where they buy/eat (un)healthy food is limited. More detailed information on the context in which health behaviors are performed would lead to crucial information for intervention development (i.e. which places should be targeted and what should be changed in these places). Second, when measuring environmental perceptions by means of questionnaires, participants have to recall their experiences and perceptions of certain environments. Such a recalled perception might not accurately reflect what participants really experience while being in the environment. Third, in previous studies relationships might have been obscured by limited environmental variation and environmental co-variation (certain environmental factors tend to be present simultaneously). Fourth, previous studies have strongly focused on conscious processes involved in environment-health behavior relationships, whereas unconscious processes have received little research attention.
Recently, studies using new methods that try to tackle the issues described above have been conducted. However, developing and using innovative methodologies is often a process of trial and error. Researchers interested in using these alternative methodologies could benefit from others' experiences, failures and successes.


This symposium aims to:
1) describe and exemplify innovative methodologies to study environment-health behavior relationships;
2) discuss these methodologies' strengths, limitations and recommendations for future use, and;
3) facilitate a discussion on "where and how to go" in the research area of environment-health behavior relationships.
Originele taal-2English
TitelOral presentation in symposium at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
StatusPublished - 2013
EvenementUnknown -
Duur: 1 jan 2013 → …


Periode1/01/13 → …


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