Neighborhood environmental attributes and adults' sedentary behaviors: Review and research agenda

MohammadJavad Koohsari, Takemi Sugiyama, Shannon Sahlqvist, Suzanne Mavoa, Nyssa Hadgraft, Neville Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

53 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Physical activity recommendations are beginning to address sedentary behaviors - time spent sitting. Environmental and policy initiatives for physical activity might assist in addressing sedentary behaviors, but sedentary-specific innovations may be required. This review synthesizes current evidence on associations of neighborhood environmental attributes with adults' sedentary behaviors. Methods: A search was conducted using three electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Transport Research Information Services). Relevant articles were assessed for their eligibility for inclusion (English-language articles with a quantitative examination of associations of neighborhood environmental attributes with adults' sedentary behaviors). Results: Within 17 studies meeting inclusion criteria, associations of environmental attributes with sedentary behaviors were examined in 89 instances. Significant associations were found in 28% (n= 25) of them; however, non-significant associations were found in 56% (n= 50) of these instances. The most consistent association was for lower levels of sedentary behavior among residents of urban compared to regional areas. Conclusions: There is a modest but mixed initial evidence in associations of neighborhood environmental attributes with adults' sedentary behaviors. A research agenda required for this emerging field should include the development of more relevant conceptual models, measuring domain-specific sedentary behavior objectively, examining environments in close vicinity of and a larger area around home, and the use of prospective designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Leisure
  • Sitting time
  • Transportation
  • Urban design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine(all)

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