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Does the Built Environment Influence Physical Activity? Examining the Evidence


This report examines the connection between the built environment and the physical activity levels of the U.S.  population. Major innovations in automation and technology have substantially reduced the physical requirements of daily life. The decentralization of metropolitan area population and employment to suburbia has increased travel distances and made the private vehicle the most practical form of transportation rather than walking and bicycle riding. The built environment is an important potential contributor to reduced levels of physical activity and this report examines long-term trends affecting physical activity levels, research design and recommendations.

Primary Toolkit:

Chronic Disease Prevention Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Chronic Disease, Disability, Environmental Health, Health Promotion and Health Education, Strategic Planning


Institutional Author:

Transportation Research Board of the National Academies





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.