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Effect of straight-line and road network distances to parks and markets on anthropometric measurements, biochemical markers, and a healthy lifestyle in adult people



The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the straight-line and road network distances to parks and markets on anthropometric measurements, biochemical markers, and a healthy lifestyle in adult people.


We studied 832 subjects aged 18–74 years selected by a probability sampling. Geographic information systems were used to calculate access distance (straight-line and road network distances) from the participant’s homes to the nearest public place for physical activity and commercial center.


After adjusting the population by age and gender, a significant and negative relation was found between glycemia and both straight-line and road network distances to markets in both males and females. Moreover, males aged 35–54 had a significant and positive relation between triglycerides and distance to parks. In addition, a negative correlation was observed only in females between sport frequency and road network distances to markets.


In this article, we have observed a similar correlation between the biochemical marker (glycemia) and both straight-line and road network distances to markets. Also, it raises the need to analyze other possible factors that could influence the relationship between the built environment and health.

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This work was funded by the CONICYT REGIONAL/GORE MAULE/CEAP/R09I2001 and supported by Grant No. 1130216 (I.P., M.G., R.M., M.A., J.C.) from Fondecyt, Chile.

Author contributions

CM and YO collected data and contributed to the writing. IP helped with data collection and critically revised the paper. EF and GP analyzed data and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Carlos Mena or Iván Palomo.

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Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical approval

The protocol was authorized by the Ethics Committee of Universidad de Talca in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki (approved by the 18th World Medical Assembly in Helsinki, Finland, 1964).

Informed consent

All selected people who agreed to participate in the study were asked to sign a written consent form and answer a questionnaire.

Additional information

Carlos Mena and Eduardo Fuentes have contributed equally to this work and are the first authors.

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Mena, C., Fuentes, E., Ormazábal, Y. et al. Effect of straight-line and road network distances to parks and markets on anthropometric measurements, biochemical markers, and a healthy lifestyle in adult people. Sport Sci Health 12, 55–61 (2016).

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  • Glycemia
  • Geographic information system
  • Straight-line distance
  • Road network distance
  • Cardiovascular risk factors