How many days of global positioning system (GPS) monitoring do you need to measure activity space environments in health research?

Shannon N. Zenk, Stephen A. Matthews, Amber N. Kraft, Kelly K. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the number of days of global positioning system (GPS) monitoring needed to measure attributes of an individual's routine activity space. Multiple alternative activity space representations (cumulative, mean daily), measures (kernel density, route buffer, convex hull), and attributes (area size, supermarkets, fast food restaurants, parks) were examined. Results suggested wide variability in required GPS days to obtain valid estimates of activity space attributes (1–23 days). In general, fewer days were needed for mean daily activity space representations, kernel density measures, and densities of environmental exposures (vs. counts). While kernel density measures reliably estimated between-person differences in attributes after just a few days, most variability in environmental attributes for convex hull and route buffer measures was within-person. Based on these results, a minimum of 14 days of valid GPS data is recommended to measure activity spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-60
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Place
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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