263960 Assessing Transportation-Related Physical Activity of Overweight/Obese Adults using GPS

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Samuel N. Forjuoh, MD, DrPH, FGCP , Department of Family & Community Medicine, Scott and White, Texas A&M HSC College of Medicine, Temple, TX
Chanam Lee, PhD, MLA , Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Suojin Wang, PhD , Department of Statistics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Background: Trip-related utilitarian physical activity (PA), such as walking, can bring significant health benefits. Healthcare providers' counseling on PA may be enhanced by knowledge of supportive environments and other factors, e.g., objectively measured caloric expenditures. We tested the watch-type, wearable Global Positioning System (GPS) device as a new tool to facilitate environment-PA research by providing detailed spatial-temporal data. Methods: Overweight/obese patients (n=30) were recruited and provided GPS units, accelerometers, and travel logs to track/record their PA behaviors for seven days. Results: Mean age and BMI were 48 years and 31.6, respectively; 83.3% were female and 80% were married. They made 41 trips/week (6.5 trips/weekday; 4.3 trips/weekend day). Driving accounted for 87.6% of all trips; every participant drove every day. Only 57% walked at least once during the 7-day period. Walking comprised 10% of driving trips. The participants spent 16 minutes/trip (78.0 minutes/day) and traveled 7.4 miles/trip (33.9 miles/week). Complementary data from their travel logs and accelerometers indicated shopping and personal/family-related (52.1%) and commuting (24.4%) as popular trip purposes, suggesting that locations of work sites, stores, and services are crucial to the choice of PA. Only 160 calories were burned/person-day from all trip-related physical activities. Conclusions: The GPS unit appears to be a manageable tool for most overweight/obese adults. The data from GPS provide valuable objective and detailed spatial-temporal information on outdoor physical activities that are otherwise difficult to capture using self-report methods. Knowing patients' PA patterns may help physicians to better counsel them on building PA into their everyday routines.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess whether the GPS unit is a manageable device for use by overweight/obese patients to track their physical activity. 2. Describe the data that can be obtained from patientsí use of the GPS to assist providers with better physical activity counseling.

Keywords: Obesity, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Professor and Director of Research in my Department, I have been the principal or co-principal investigator of multiple federally and institutionally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of injuries, health disparities, and behavioral change in the primary care setting. My current research has focuses on diabetes and obesity, specifically enhancing patient-physician communication and disease management with health IT and promoting preventive health services and health behavior change in primary care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.