The association between built environment features and physical activity in the Australian context: a synthesis of the literature
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Background: There is growing evidence indicating that the built environment is a determinant of physical activity. However, despite the well-established health benefits of physical activity this is rarely considered in urban planning. We summarised recent Australian evidence for the association built environment-physical activity among adults. This summary aims to inform policy makers who advocate for the consideration of health in urban planning. Methods: A combination of built environment and physical activity terms were used to systematically identify relevant peer reviewed and grey literature. Results: A total of 23 studies were included, providing 139 tests of associations between specific built environment features and physical activity. Of the total, 84 relationships using objective measures of built environment attributes were evaluated, whereas 55 relationships using self-reported measures were evaluated. Our results indicate that walkable neighbourhoods with a wide range of local destinations to go to, as well as a diverse use of land, encourage physical activity among their residents. Conclusions: This research provides a summary of recent Australian evidence on built environments that are most favourable for physical activity. Features of walkability and availability of destinations within walking distance should be accounted for in the development or redevelopment of urban areas. Our findings emphasise the importance of urban planning for health via its impact on population levels of physical activity
BMC Public Health
© 2016 Zapata-Diomedi et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Page numbers are not for citation purposes. Instead, this article has the unique article number of 484.
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