A systematic review of built environment and health

Fam Community Health. 2010 Jan-Mar;33(1):68-78. doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3181c4e2e5.


The built environment can be considered a foundation for health and wellness. This structure, whether it be neighborhood layout or safe walking trails, impacts decisions relating to individual and community health outcomes. This review compiled the published research that examined the relationship between built environment and health. Findings from the 23 articles reviewed indicate that neighborhoods that are characterized as more walkable, either leisure-oriented or destination-driven, are associated with increased physical activity, increased social capital, lower overweight, lower reports of depression, and less reported alcohol abuse.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Environment Design*
  • Exercise
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Quality of Life*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Social Environment*
  • Walking