The Physical Environment and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents - A Systematic Review: 732: Board #2 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Penfold, Chris; Mattocks, Calum; Griffiths, Alex; Tilling, Kate; Ness, Andy; Pate, Russell R. FACSM; Blair, Steven N. FACSM; Riddoch, Chris

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000402864.93846.13
F-12 Thematic Poster - Built Environment & Active Commuting: JUNE 3, 2011 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM: ROOM: 403
Author Information

1University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom. 2University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. 3University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.


(No relationships reported)

Using accelerometers to objectively measure physical activity has led to a better understanding of subtle environmental associations with children's physical activity levels.

PURPOSE: To conduct a systematic review of associations between objectively measured physical activity and physical environment factors in adolescents aged 11-18 years.

METHODS: Abstracts were retrieved through a systematic search of databases up to July 2010 (n=2757) and hand searching of personal libraries. Inclusion criteria (population age, physical activity measurement, physical environment measurement, sample size>250 and language) and exclusion criteria (study design, article type) were applied, resulting in a collection of 15 articles (13 cross-sectional and two prospective studies). Significant associations (p<0.05) from multivariate models of physical environment factors (exposure) and physical activity (outcome) were extracted. A meta-analysis was not deemed appropriate.

RESULTS: Outcome measures were minutes/day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), change in mean minutes/day of MVPA and mean accelerometer counts per minute (day). Two main studies, the "Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls" (USA) and "Children Living in Active Neighbourhoods" (Australia), provided the majority of the articles reviewed. Speed bumps in the neighbourhood were positively associated prospectively with MVPA and cross-sectionally with boys' MVPA. The ratio of length of local roads to length of all roads was negatively associated cross-sectionally with boys' and prospectively with girls' MVPA. Distance to school was negatively associated cross-sectionally with total activity and with girls' MVPA. Access to local active facilities was positively associated cross-sectionally with MVPA.

CONCLUSIONS: Inconsistency in the measurement of the physical environment has limited direct comparisons between studies. Further work is needed to establish standardised measures of the physical environment and to increase the number of countries with suitable datasets.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine