How does the built environment around you impact the way you do physical activity?
The CDC defines built environment as the environment that makes up where we live, this includes our homes, streets, sidewalks, businesses, and transportation (2017). The built environment influences our day to day activities and the way we live our lives. With this influence, it can also deter us from doing thing we want to do because of the way the environment is built or in some cases not built. When the built environment is not made available to all people, then people do not have the appropriate accessibility to the places they need to go; in turn truly affecting their lives. In a study written by Eisenberg, Vanderbom, and Vasudevan in 2017, they reviewed the relationship between the built environment and having a disability on lower levels of physical activity. This article is the first review to the built environment as a moderator between the relationship between disability and physical activity. Their review consisted of 15 manuscripts that were written between 2002 and 2015 all on the topic of built environment and individuals with disabilities (Eisenberg, Vanderbom, & Vasudevan, 2017). Most articles touched on the barriers of the built environment; these include physical (i.e. uneven sidewalks, not enough lighting, and barriers on path), temporal (i.e. stop light timing, weather maintenance, and night time travel difficulties), and behaviors of other people (i.e. feeling pressure to keep up the pace with others, crowded sidewalks, and fear of motorists) (Eisenberg, Vanderbom, & Vasudevan, 2017). Eisenberg, Vanderbom, and Vasudevan state that this review helps identify specific details of the way the built environment is measured for people with disabilities (2017). However, there is still a need to use reliable and valid measures of the built environment. Policies, systems and environmental changes are also still needed so that the health of individuals with disabilities has a better overall impact. By overcoming the barriers mentioned in this review, individuals with disabilities may be able to furthermore improve their level of physical activity. Additional research is needed as well to further discern which parts of the built environments are the moderators that have the most impact on individuals with disabilities and their level s of physical activities (Eisenberg, Vanderbom, & Vasudevan, 2017). NCHPAD is looking to help with this issue, attached are some additional resources that further explain the barriers discussed and how we can make a difference.
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. (2017, November 21). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/state-local-programs/built-environment-assessm ent/index.htm
Eisenberg, Y., Vanderbom, K. A., & Vasudevan, V. (2017). Does the built environment moderate the relationship between having a disability and lower levels of physical activity? A systematic review. Preventive Medicine,95. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.07.019