AccScience Publishing / JCAU / Volume 6 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/jcau.2427
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Progress, limitations, and prospects for improvement in understanding the impact of urban built environment on residents’ leisure-time physical activity in China: A systematic review

Fan Yang1 Chao Ge2,3* Jiayin Wang1
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1 Department of Urban Planning, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
2 Faculty of Innovation and Design, City University of Macau, Macau, China
3 The Second School of Clinical Medical, Guangdong Medical University, Dongguan, Guangdong, China
Journal of Chinese Architecture and Urbanism 2024, 6(2), 2427 https://doi.org/10.36922/jcau.2427
Submitted: 13 December 2023 | Accepted: 6 February 2024 | Published: 10 May 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ )
Abstract

Leisure-time physical activities (LTPAs) play a crucial role in improving health. Likewise, improving certain aspects of the built environment is essential for promoting residents to engage in LTPA. However, the impact of urban built environment characteristics on residents’ levels of LTPA and its underlying mechanism remain unclear. To address this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis guidelines. In 2022, we searched eight databases and identified 453 relevant publications. The selected literature had to meet specific inclusion criteria: (i) the sample targeted Chinese adults (≥18 years), and (ii) it quantified the effect of urban built environment characteristics on residents’ levels of LTPA. Out of the initial pool, 18 articles met our inclusion criteria. Our findings indicate that although previous studies have revealed that esthetic perception and road safety can facilitate residents’ participation in LTPA, there is a lack of methods for identifying built environment characteristics and analyzing the psychosocial mediation mechanism between the built environment and LTPA in specific populations. Improving the robustness of research conclusions is an important research direction that will yield solid evidence of the impact of the urban environment on human health. Limited evidence exists regarding the association between urban built environment characteristics in China and residents’ LTPA levels. However, advancements in remote sensing images, computer vision in artificial intelligence, and machine learning technologies offer innovative avenues for modeling built environments and land use functions. Developing an impact mechanism model of the built environment and LTPA using individual perceptions and social psychological factors as mediating mechanisms is imperative. This approach will serve as a reference for urban spatial optimization and the development of spatial planning intervention tools.

Keywords
Leisure-time physical activity
Built environment
Mediating effects
Space optimization
Chinese cities
Funding
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no.: 51778436); Guangdong Province Philosophy and Social Sciences ‘14th Five-Year Plan’ Project (grant no.: GD22YTY01); and the Guangdong Medical University Youth Research Cultivation Fund (grant no.: GDMUQ2021053).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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