Physical Activity and the Built Environment

James F. Sallis, Marc Adams, Ding Ding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter reports that street connectivity is positively correlated with physical activity for adults but negatively linked with physical activity for children. It also discusses a paradigm shift toward interdisciplinary research on environments with the goal of identifying promising built environmental and policy changes that could produce widespread and permanent changes in physical activity in multiple settings. Then, the past, present, and future of research on built environments and physical activity are explored. There is a consistent association between urban design, land use, and physical activity. Using public transit appears to contribute to overall physical activity. With few exceptions, built environment-physical activity associations have generalized across youth, adults, and older adults. Current and future generations of environment research would benefit from population-wide policies and environments designed to increase rates of physical activity and prevent sedentary behavior and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940684
ISBN (Print)9780199736362
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adults
  • Built environments
  • Children
  • Land use
  • Physical activity
  • Urban design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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