The physical environment has the potential to influence the physical behaviours oflarge numbers of people; hence creating supportive environments has the potentialto increase physical activity (PA). During the last decade, there has been growinginterest in how the physical environment shapes PA behaviour. This area of researchis important given that levels of PA participation are declining globally. Literature wasreviewed that examined the association between physical environmental attributesand PA behaviours. The environmental attributes were grouped into four categoriesbased on a conceptual framework of environmental factors that might influence PAand included functionality, safety, aesthetics and destinations. Positive associationswere found between both perceived and objectively measured environmental factorsand PA behaviour. The availability, accessibility and convenience of destinations andfacilities, as well as the general functionality of the neighbourhood (eg, the presence ofsidewalks, traffic conditions) and aesthetics were positively associated with various levelsof PA. The review highlights the need for future studies: to examine behaviour-specificenvironmental attributes, to collect objectively-measured environmental data and toinclude both objective and perceived environmental data in the same studies, and toadopt prospective study designs to allow causal relationships to be established.
|Journal||Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|