Interventions focused on the physical activity environment to reduce sedentary behaviors among children: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The present study reviewed the current trends of interventions focused on the physical activity environment for reducing sedentary behavior among children. Multiple international and domestic databases were searched to identify studies that involved changes to the physical activity environment, measured sedentary behavior, were specific to childhood populations, and published in a peer-reviewed journal. After studies were carefully assessed for inclusion by examining the title, abstract, and full text, the characteristics of the included studies (i.e., participants, study design, environmental intervention, measurement of sedentary behavior, and results) were summarized. A total of 31 studies (randomized controlled trial: n=25; quasi-experimental design: n=3; within-subject design: n=3) met the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies (n=23) were conducted using school-based interventions focused on the playground environment, involving either one or a combination of the following changes: improved markings, providing play equipment, or offering built facilities. Other studies included in the summary focused on behaviors at home and in the community like using electronic time managers while watching the television and providing low-cost or free entry to safe and easily accessible sports facilities. The measurement of sedentary behavior included an accelerometer, self-report, and direct observation. Twenty studies had a positive effect on reducing sedentary behavior among children. All but two of the studies were conducted in foreign nations. The present findings suggest that improving the physical activity environment to children can reduce sedentary behavior; therefore, further interventions focused on the physical activity environment for reducing sedentary behavior among Japanese children should be conducted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalJapanese Journal of Physical Fitness and Sports Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Children
  • Environment
  • Intervention
  • Sedentary behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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