Citizen Science Applied to Building Healthier Community Environments: Advancing the Field Through Shared Construct and Measurement Development

aut.relation.journalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activityen_NZ
aut.researcherHinckson, Erica
dc.contributor.authorHinckson, Een_NZ
dc.contributor.authorSchneider, Men_NZ
dc.contributor.authorWinter, SJen_NZ
dc.contributor.authorStone, Een_NZ
dc.contributor.authorPuhan, Men_NZ
dc.contributor.authorStathi, Aen_NZ
dc.contributor.authorPorter, MMen_NZ
dc.contributor.authorGardiner, PAen_NZ
dc.contributor.authordos Santos, DLen_NZ
dc.contributor.authorWolff, Aen_NZ
dc.contributor.authorKing, ACen_NZ
dc.description.abstractBackground: Physical inactivity across the lifespan remains a public health issue for many developed countries. Inactivity has contributed considerably to the pervasiveness of lifestyle diseases. Government, national and local agencies and organizations have been unable to systematically, and in a coordinated way, translate behavioral research into practice that makes a difference at a population level. One approach for mobilizing multi-level efforts to improve the environment for physical activity is to engage in a process of citizen science. Citizen Science here is defined as a participatory research approach involving members of the public working closely with research investigators to initiate and advance scientific research projects. However, there are no common measures or protocols to guide citizen science research at the local community setting. Objectives: We describe overarching categories of constructs that can be considered when designing citizen science projects expected to yield multi-level interventions, and provide an example of the citizen science approach to promoting PA. We also recommend potential measures across different levels of impact. Discussion: Encouraging some consistency in measurement across studies will potentially accelerate the efficiency with which citizen science participatory research provides new insights into and solutions to the behaviorally-based public health issues that drive most of morbidity and mortality. The measures described in this paper abide by four fundamental principles specifically selected for inclusion in citizen science projects: feasibility, accuracy, propriety, and utility. The choice of measures will take into account the potential resources available for outcome and process evaluation. Our intent is to emphasize the importance for all citizen science participatory projects to follow an evidence-based approach and ensure that they incorporate an appropriate assessment protocol. Conclusions: We provided the rationale for and a list of contextual factors along with specific examples of measures to encourage consistency among studies that plan to use a citizen science participatory approach. The potential of this approach to promote health and wellbeing in communities is high and we hope that we have provided the tools needed to optimally promote synergistic gains in knowledge across a range of Citizen Science participatory projects.en_NZ
dc.identifier.citationInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 133.
dc.publisherBioMed Central
dc.rightsThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
dc.subjectCommunity; Constructs; Measures; Our voice; Residents; Stanford healthy neighborhood discovery tool
dc.titleCitizen Science Applied to Building Healthier Community Environments: Advancing the Field Through Shared Construct and Measurement Developmenten_NZ
dc.typeJournal Article
pubs.organisational-data/AUT/Faculty of Business, Economics and Law
pubs.organisational-data/AUT/Faculty of Business, Economics and Law/NZ Work Research Institute
pubs.organisational-data/AUT/Health & Environmental Science
pubs.organisational-data/AUT/PBRF/PBRF Health and Environmental Sciences
pubs.organisational-data/AUT/PBRF/PBRF Health and Environmental Sciences/HS Sports & Recreation 2018 PBRF
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