NCCOR member teaches training course at BEAT Institute

There is growing evidence that the “built environment” or physical characteristics of a community can have a major impact on obesity, physical activity, and overall health. NCCOR External Scientific Panel (NESP) member Jim Sallis will discuss the role environment plays in influencing physical activity at next week’s Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute.

During the training Sallis, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego, will cover the ecological models that highlight environmental and policy influences, the range of available measures using different modes (survey, observation, GIS), and the need to use study results to inform policy.

“I am [also] recommending this commentary by Harold Goldstein, who directs the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and is a master of research translation,” said Sallis.

Sallis will also be teaching a course with BEAT Institute Director Karen Glanz, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of Pennsylvania on self-report measures of physical activity environments. During this session Sallis will discuss the Physical Activity Neighborhood Environment Scale (PANES), which is a brief self-report measure of neighborhood environments. Click here to read the full research study on PANES.

“Everyone wants a short measure that will adequately assess environments, and that was the goal of PANES,” said Sallis. “This study shows the short measure is fairly well related to a much longer measure. An earlier paper showed that this measure worked well in 11 countries around the world.”

The 2012 BEAT Institute will take place June 24-29 in Boston, Mass. This annual training is designed to teach investigators and practitioners tangible skills that can be used to measure many of the aspects of the built environment that are believed to have an effect on health. For more information please visit,

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