This study was developed using the Ecological Model (Stokols, 1992). The purpose of this study was to determine women's perceptions of the physical environment and the relationship between perceptions and physical activity behaviors. The study also analyzed women's non-motorized transportation behaviors, including walking and cycling to get from place to place. An email was sent to 526 female Minnesota State University, Mankato employees to ask them to participate in an electronic survey. The survey was developed using two of Sallis's (2013a, 2013b) instruments, Neighborhood Quality of Life Study survey and Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale-Confirmatory Factor Analysis survey. The survey consisted of 51 questions addressing general information, perceptions of the physical environment, and physical activity behaviors. There were a total of 200 responses; however, 23 were eliminated as a result of unverified age or incomplete surveys. The data was analyzed with 177 completed surveys. The participants' had positive perceptions regarding the safety and aesthetics of their perceptions of their physical activity environments. Their perceptions regarding the accessibility and convenience of the environments, however, were not favorable. Very few relationships were found between the women's perceptions of the physical environment and physical activity behaviors. About half of the women reported that they walked as a mode of transportation. A small proportion of women reported that they cycled as a mode of transportation. Future research recommendations include conducting this study during warmer weather months to identify how their perceptions of their physical activity environments and their physical activity behaviors are associated when the weather is more suitable for physical activity.


Marlene K. Tappe

First Committee Member

Mark Windschitl

Second Committee Member

Joseph D. Visker

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Health Science


Allied Health and Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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