Ambient air pollution and movement behaviours: A scoping review

Health Place. 2021 Nov:72:102676. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102676. Epub 2021 Oct 23.


This scoping review summarizes the literature about how ambient (outdoor) air pollution impacts movement behaviours (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep), or beliefs about movement behaviours. Of 6552 potential documents, 58 documents and 218 findings were included in the final synthesis. Most studies were from the United States and China, involved cross-sectional designs, and included mixed age groups. Overall, unfavourable changes/associations (i.e., decreased/lower physical activity, increased/higher sedentary-related behaviour, and decreased/lower sleep duration and quality) or no change/association in movement behaviours in relation to ambient air pollution were identified. Our findings suggest that more attention should be given to understanding the impact of ambient air pollution on movement behaviours in general and in diverse countries and vulnerable populations such as children or older adults.

Keywords: Air quality; Physical activity; Sedentary behaviour; Sleep; Walking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Air Pollution* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Sleep