Determinants and health implications of individuals' activity space experiences

Lei Lei, Tse Chuan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research on the health impact of activity space assumed that individuals conduct daily activities outside residential neighborhoods. Little is known about whether and for whom this assumption holds, let alone whether neighborhood effects vary by individual activity space experiences. Using data in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, we identify four types of activity space experiences—individuals with extended activity space, confined activity space, no activity space, and unidentified activity space—and analyze the determinants of them. We then investigate how activity space experiences alter the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and self-rated health. The findings suggest that (1) approximately 15% of respondents do not have activity space, (2) individual characteristics, such as gender, age, race, and poverty status, are associated with activity space experiences, and (3) for middle-aged (35–64) and older adults (65+), neighborhood social capital matters less for the health of people with no activity space than for those with extended activity space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2541
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • activity space
  • health
  • inequality
  • life course
  • neighborhood effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development


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