Article

An ecological approach to creating active living communities.

Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92103, USA.
Annual Review of Public Health (Impact Factor: 6.63). 02/2006; 27:297-322. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.27.021405.102100
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The thesis of this article is that multilevel interventions based on ecological models and targeting individuals, social environments, physical environments, and policies must be implemented to achieve population change in physical activity. A model is proposed that identifies potential environmental and policy influences on four domains of active living: recreation, transport, occupation, and household. Multilevel research and interventions require multiple disciplines to combine concepts and methods to create new transdisciplinary approaches. The contributions being made by a broad range of disciplines are summarized. Research to date supports a conclusion that there are multiple levels of influence on physical activity, and the active living domains are associated with different environmental variables. Continued research is needed to provide detailed findings that can inform improved designs of communities, transportation systems, and recreation facilities. Collaborations with policy researchers may improve the likelihood of translating research findings into changes in environments, policies, and practices.

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