The relationship between built environments and physical activity

A systematic review

Alva O. Ferdinand, Bisakha Sen, Saurabh Rahurkar, Sally Engler, Nir Menachemi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. We conducted a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between built environments (e.g., parks, trails, sidewalks) and physical activity (PA) or obesity rates. Methods. We performed a 2-step inclusion protocol to identify empirical articles examining any form of built environment and any form of PA (or obesity rate) as the outcome. We extracted data from included abstracts for analysis by using a standard code sheet developed for this study. Results. Of 169 included articles, 89.2% reported beneficial relationships-but virtually all articles utilized simple observational study designs not suited for determining causality. Studies utilizing objective PA measures (e.g., pedometer) were 18% less likely to identify a beneficial relationship. Articles focusing on children in community settings (-14.2%), those examining direct measures of obesity (-6.2%), or those with an academic first author (-3.4%) were less likely to find a beneficial relationship. Conclusions. Policymakers at federal and local levels should encourage more rigorous scientific research to determine whether altered built environments will result in increased PA and decreased obesity rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume102
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Obesity
Exercise
Causality
Observational Studies
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

The relationship between built environments and physical activity : A systematic review. / Ferdinand, Alva O.; Sen, Bisakha; Rahurkar, Saurabh; Engler, Sally; Menachemi, Nir.

In: American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 102, No. 10, 01.10.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Ferdinand, Alva O. ; Sen, Bisakha ; Rahurkar, Saurabh ; Engler, Sally ; Menachemi, Nir. / The relationship between built environments and physical activity : A systematic review. In: American Journal of Public Health. 2012 ; Vol. 102, No. 10.
@article{3565e26a6dfe42698a490834ae8e57ff,
title = "The relationship between built environments and physical activity: A systematic review",
abstract = "Objectives. We conducted a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between built environments (e.g., parks, trails, sidewalks) and physical activity (PA) or obesity rates. Methods. We performed a 2-step inclusion protocol to identify empirical articles examining any form of built environment and any form of PA (or obesity rate) as the outcome. We extracted data from included abstracts for analysis by using a standard code sheet developed for this study. Results. Of 169 included articles, 89.2{\%} reported beneficial relationships-but virtually all articles utilized simple observational study designs not suited for determining causality. Studies utilizing objective PA measures (e.g., pedometer) were 18{\%} less likely to identify a beneficial relationship. Articles focusing on children in community settings (-14.2{\%}), those examining direct measures of obesity (-6.2{\%}), or those with an academic first author (-3.4{\%}) were less likely to find a beneficial relationship. Conclusions. Policymakers at federal and local levels should encourage more rigorous scientific research to determine whether altered built environments will result in increased PA and decreased obesity rates.",
author = "Ferdinand, {Alva O.} and Bisakha Sen and Saurabh Rahurkar and Sally Engler and Nir Menachemi",
year = "2012",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2105/AJPH.2012.300740",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "102",
journal = "American Journal of Public Health",
issn = "0090-0036",
publisher = "American Public Health Association Inc.",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The relationship between built environments and physical activity

T2 - A systematic review

AU - Ferdinand, Alva O.

AU - Sen, Bisakha

AU - Rahurkar, Saurabh

AU - Engler, Sally

AU - Menachemi, Nir

PY - 2012/10/1

Y1 - 2012/10/1

N2 - Objectives. We conducted a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between built environments (e.g., parks, trails, sidewalks) and physical activity (PA) or obesity rates. Methods. We performed a 2-step inclusion protocol to identify empirical articles examining any form of built environment and any form of PA (or obesity rate) as the outcome. We extracted data from included abstracts for analysis by using a standard code sheet developed for this study. Results. Of 169 included articles, 89.2% reported beneficial relationships-but virtually all articles utilized simple observational study designs not suited for determining causality. Studies utilizing objective PA measures (e.g., pedometer) were 18% less likely to identify a beneficial relationship. Articles focusing on children in community settings (-14.2%), those examining direct measures of obesity (-6.2%), or those with an academic first author (-3.4%) were less likely to find a beneficial relationship. Conclusions. Policymakers at federal and local levels should encourage more rigorous scientific research to determine whether altered built environments will result in increased PA and decreased obesity rates.

AB - Objectives. We conducted a systematic review of the literature examining the relationship between built environments (e.g., parks, trails, sidewalks) and physical activity (PA) or obesity rates. Methods. We performed a 2-step inclusion protocol to identify empirical articles examining any form of built environment and any form of PA (or obesity rate) as the outcome. We extracted data from included abstracts for analysis by using a standard code sheet developed for this study. Results. Of 169 included articles, 89.2% reported beneficial relationships-but virtually all articles utilized simple observational study designs not suited for determining causality. Studies utilizing objective PA measures (e.g., pedometer) were 18% less likely to identify a beneficial relationship. Articles focusing on children in community settings (-14.2%), those examining direct measures of obesity (-6.2%), or those with an academic first author (-3.4%) were less likely to find a beneficial relationship. Conclusions. Policymakers at federal and local levels should encourage more rigorous scientific research to determine whether altered built environments will result in increased PA and decreased obesity rates.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84866316383&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84866316383&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300740

DO - 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300740

M3 - Review article

VL - 102

JO - American Journal of Public Health

JF - American Journal of Public Health

SN - 0090-0036

IS - 10

ER -