Article

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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    • "It is well established that the design of outdoor public spaces influences human activity and social behavior (Lestan et al., 2014; Oka, 2011). For example, recognition of the relationship between urban form and frequency of walking and bicycling (Frank and Engelkel, 2001; Saelens et al., 2003) has implications for urban design, transportation systems (Lee and Vernez Moudon, 2004), recreation facilities, and public health policy (Sallis et al., 2006). The health benefits of accessible green spaces is widely acknowledged, however, prospective studies that measure the impact that specific built environment changes have on population physical activity are lacking (Lee and Maheswaran, 2011). "
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    • "In addition, children's walking and bicycling were found to be related to various environmental attributes, such as pedestrian and bicyclist infrastructure , street connectivity, and green open spaces (Davison and Lawson 2006; Ferreira et al. 2007; Sallis, Pruchaska, and Taylor 2000). Additional environmental attributes that were found to be important for children's physical activity include measures of road safety (e.g., traffic volume, presences of cross walks) and crime-related safety (e.g., street lights, presence of strangers) (Boarnet et al. 2005; Sallis and Glanz 2006; Timperio et al. 2004; Timperio et al. 2006). "
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    • "Relevant to this paper, among this population even household PA – defined as low-to-moderate-intensity habitual physical activities performed in and around the home, such as housework and preparing meals (Pescatello, Murphy, & Costanzo, 2000; Ratzlaff, 2012), activities often termed 'instrumental activities of daily living' (Lawton & Brody, 1969) – has been associated with health benefits (Buman et al., 2010; Pescatello & Murphy, 1998; Pescatello et al., 2000). Further, although PA studies with older people have usually focused on moderate-to-high-intensity activities such as walking (Barnett, van Sluijs, Ogilvie, & Wareham, 2014; Sallis et al., 2006), these home-based activities can account for much of an older person's total activity, especially among older women (Baltes, Maas, Wilms, Borchelt, & Little, 1999; Benzinger et al., 2014). "
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