Relationship between the physical environment and physical activity in older adults: a systematic review

Health Place. 2011 Mar;17(2):458-69. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.11.010. Epub 2010 Nov 26.


Previous reviews on children, adolescents and adults have reported consistent relationships between several physical environmental characteristics and physical activity (PA). This systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature concerning the relationship between the physical environment and PA in older adults. A systematic literature search resulted in the inclusion of 31 articles. Results were inconsistent but most of the studied environmental characteristics were reported not to be related to PA. More studies in different contexts utilizing longitudinal designs, standardized, reliable and validated PA and environmental measurements and investigating possible moderating effects are definitely warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bicycling / statistics & numerical data
  • Environment*
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Research Design
  • Safety
  • Urbanization
  • Walking / statistics & numerical data