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J Sci Med Sport. 2009 Sep;12(5):549-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2008.10.010. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

Applying GPS to enhance understanding of transport-related physical activity.

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  • 1Centre for Social Science Research, CQUniversity, Australia.


The purpose of the paper is to review the utility of the global positioning system (GPS) in the study of health-related physical activity. The paper draws from existing literature to outline the current work performed using GPS to examine transport-related physical activity, with a focus on the relative utility of the approach when combined with geographic information system (GIS) and other data sources including accelerometers. The paper argues that GPS, especially when used in combination with GIS and accelerometery, offers great promise in objectively measuring and studying the relationship of numerous environmental attributes to human behaviour in terms of physical activity and transport-related activity. Limitations to the use of GPS for the purpose of monitoring health-related physical activity are presented, and recommendations for future avenues of research are discussed.

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