The built environment, neighborhood crime and constrained physical activity: An exploration of inconsistent findings

School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia.
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.93). 05/2008; 47(3):241-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.03.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Personal safety is commonly cited in qualitative research as a barrier to local walking, yet the relationship between safety and constrained physical activity has received mixed support in quantitative studies. This paper reviews the quantitative evidence to date, seeking to explain the inconsistencies, and offers recommendations for future research.
A social-ecological framework was adopted to explore the evidence linking crime-related safety, and factors that influence real and perceived safety, with constrained physical activity.
Perceived safety tends to affect the physical activity of groups already known to exhibit greater anxiety about crime; and some elements of the built environment that influence safety appear to constrain physical activity. However the evidence is somewhat inconsistent, and this may be partly attributed to measurement limitations. Many studies employ generic safety measures that make implicit references to crime or use composite variables that lack specificity. Physical activity outcomes also require consideration, as only activities occurring locally outdoors are likely to be affected by neighborhood crime.
Further research is required to tease out associations between real and perceived crime-related safety and physical activity, ideally employing behaviour and crime-specific measures, and addressing the moderating role of the social and built environments.

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    ABSTRACT: Physical inactivity has been a leading factor of chronic diseases and high rate of mortality in the world. Despite the fact, only a small portion of people are able to meet up the recommended physical activities. However, there are handful studies suggest that built environment may provide stimulus or barriers to people's participation in physical activities. Drawing upon this context, this paper aims to review articles regarding 'built environment and physical activity' focusing on characteristics of built environment which are particularly helpful in improving neighborhood environment, and to catch the attention to physical activities, such as walking, and cycling. It also critically reviews the measures of built environment, and finds three measures viz. (i) perceived environment measures, (ii) observational measures, and (iii) GIS-based measures. The article argues that integrated measures of built environment might be helpful to reduce limitations of individual measures and to understand the reasons of less participation in physical activities. It also suggests some practical interventions for improvement of built environment which is essentially inevitable to persuade physical activities. mvivsk: we ‡k¦ giYe¨vwa I AwaK nv ‡i giYkxjZvi Rb¨vixwiK AKg© GKwU cÖ avb wbqvgK| G m ‡Ë¡ I, Ly e Aí msL¨K gvby l my cvwikK… Z kvixwiK Kg© Kv ‡Ê (e¨vqv ‡g) AskMÖ nY Ki ‡Z cv ‡i| hvB ‡nvK, A ‡bK M ‡elYv my cvwik K ‡i †h, ¯' vwcZ cwi ‡ek gvby ‡li kvixwiK e¨vqv ‡g AskMÖ n ‡Y DÏxcK A_ev evu av cÖ vb Ki ‡Z cv ‡i| GB †cÖ w ¶ ‡Z, eZ© gvb cÖ eÜwU Ô¯' vwcZ cwi ‡ek Ges kvixwiK e¨vqvgÕ m¤úwK© Z M ‡elYvmg~ n ch© v ‡jvPbv K ‡i hv g~ jZt ¯' vwcZ cwi ‡e ‡kîewkó¨mg~ n, ‡h¸jv cª wZ ‡ek Dboe q ‡b mvnvh¨i ; Ges kvixwiK e¨vqvg (†hgb, cv ‡q nvu Uv, wØPµhvb Pvjbv BZ¨vw) Gi cÖ wZ g ‡bv ‡hvMx K ‡i †Zv ‡j| cÖ eÜwU ¯' vwcZ cwi ‡ek m¤úwK© Z mvaviY cwigvcKmg~ n; †hgb (K) cÖ Z¨YK… Z cwi ‡ek cwigvcK, (L) ch© ‡e ¶Yg~ jK cwigvcK, Ges (M) wRAvBGm-wbf© i cwigvcK) ch© v ‡jvPbv K ‡i| ZvQvovI GwU GKwU mgwš^ Z ¯' vwcZ cwi ‡ek cwigvcK KvVv ‡gv Dc¯' vcb K ‡i hv ¯^ Zš¿ cwigvcKmg~ ‡nì~ e© jZv n« vm Ki ‡Z cv ‡i Ges kvixwiK e¨vqv ‡g Kg AskMÖ n ‡Yi KviYmg~ n ey S ‡Z mvnvh¨i| GQvovI cÖ eÜwU ¯' vwcZ cwi ‡ek Dboe q ‡b AviI K ‡qKwU e¨envwiK my cvwik cÖ vb K ‡i, †h¸jv kvixwiK e¨vqv ‡g AskMª nY evov ‡Z mnvqK|