Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type



Public Health

Director of Thesis

Chih-Hsiang Yang, Ph.D.

First Reader

Christine Pellegrini, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Christine Pellegrini, Ph.D.


The issues with American physical activity infrastructure have been causing The United States to have lower levels of physical activity compared to other developed countries. The social and physical built environments of college students typically provide more access for students to be able to be active; however most students still do not meet the recommended amount of physical activity. The purpose of this study was to determine what in their physical and social environment that students utilize in order to participate in physical activity and what aspects of their environment discourage physical activity or limit access to being active. This study aimed to evaluate the physical and social aspects of the built environments of college students and how these environments impact access to physical activity by surveying current students at the University of South Carolina (N=459, mean age =20.290, female =75.817%). Preliminary data suggests that students’ social and physical built environments do have an association with their levels of physical activity. Additionally, these aspects vary when students are exposed to different situations. The built environment is an important factor that can influence the daily activity levels of college students, and by creating environments that are conducive to physical activity, levels of activity in this population could be improved.

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© 2023, Catherine M Neel

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