Built environmental correlates of older adults’ total physical activity and walking: A systematic review and meta-analysis

The aim of this study was to  systematically review and quantify findings on the built environmental and how this correlates to older adults’ physical activity(PA) and to investigate differences by type of PA and environmental attribute measurement.

One hundred articles from peer-reviewed and grey literature examining built environmental attributes related to total PA met inclusion criteria and relevant information was extracted. Findings were meta-analysed and weighted by article quality and sample size and then stratified by PA and environmental measurement method.

The authors conclude that safe, walkable, and aesthetically pleasing neighbourhoods, with access to overall and specific destinations and services positively influenced older adults’ PA participation. However, when considering the environmental attributes that were sufficiently studied , the strength of evidence of associations of specific categories of environment attributes with PA differed across PA and environmental measurement types.