Active Living Researcher

Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts is the Director of the Public Health Outcomes and Effects of the Built Environment (PHOEBE) Laboratory.  The mission of the PHOEBE Laboratory is to gain an improved understanding of how our built environments or rather the man-made places and spaces of our neighborhoods and communities, such as buildings, parks, and transportation systems, can impact the health and well-being of individuals of all ages.  


Dr. Roberts examines social and environmental determinants that encourage or discourage all domains of physical activity (e.g. recreational, transportation) and how these determinants may be associated with physical (e.g. obesity) and mental (e.g. depression) public health outcomes among adults, adolescents and children.


PHOEBE Laboratory research follows a broad approach to active living by investigating the following questions.

  • How is the relationship between various built environments (e.g. home neighborhood) and types of physical activities (e.g. active transportation) mediated or moderated by social environmental factors (e.g. social capital)?
  • How do environmental disparities (e.g. access to recreational spaces) impact health behavior (e.g. physical activity) and health outcome (e.g. obesity) disparities?
  • How can we use community-based participatory research to introduce individual and community level interventions that promotes sustainable active living for the improvement of health and well-being.



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University of Maryland

University of Maryland

University of Maryland

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PHOEBE Laboratory

University of Maryland

University of Maryland

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