Bridging the Built and Social Environments: A Systematic Review of Studies Investigating Influences on Physical Activity. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: The purpose of this review was to examine articles assessing aspects of the built and social environment simultaneously, and how these environments influence physical activity (PA). A thorough review of studies is needed to identify patterns across studies and gaps for future research and practice. METHODS: To be included, articles needed to contain: (1)self-report or objective measure of PA; (2)a measure of the built environment; (3)a measure of the social environment; and (4)an analysis between built environment, social environment, and PA. A systematic literature search of 4358 articles resulted in 87 articles. RESULTS: Several populations were present within the sample including various age groups and different countries. As previously established, the built environment and social environment were consistently associated with PA; however, mediating factors between these 2 layers were less clear. Further, there was a lack of longitudinal and experimental study designs. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest a need for longitudinal and experimental designs with validated and granular measures. As communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a thorough understanding of how built environment factors enhance or detract from social connectedness and how this reciprocal relationship impacts PA behavior is needed for future policy, environment, and systematic change.

published proceedings

  • J Phys Act Health

altmetric score

  • 32

author list (cited authors)

  • Prochnow, T., Curran, L. S., Amo, C., & Patterson, M. S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Prochnow, Tyler||Curran, Laurel S||Amo, Christina||Patterson, Meg S

publication date

  • May 2023