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Environmental influences on healthy and active ageing: A systematic review


Annear, MJ and Keeling, S and Wilkinson, T and Cushman, G and Gidlow, B and Hopkins, H, Environmental influences on healthy and active ageing: A systematic review, Ageing and Society, 34, (4) pp. 590-622. ISSN 0144-686X (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0144686X1200116X


This paper explores the evidence for environmental influences on older adult health and activity participation, identifies current knowledge gaps and limitations within this literature, and offers recommendations for future research via a systematic appraisal of 83 quantitative and qualitative studies. A Cochrane-type review procedure was followed, which incorporated structured database searches, inclusion and exclusion criteria, quality appraisal of included studies, and peer review. The review findings identify support for both personal and environmental influences on health and activity participation in later life. Reported personal influences include ethnicity and cultural norms, energy and motivation, sex, age, education, genetic heritage, self-efficacy, and personal financial circumstances. Reported environmental influences on activity participation include climate, level of pollution, street lighting, traffic conditions, accessibility and appropriateness of services and facilities, socio-economic conditions, aesthetics, pedestrian infrastructure, community life, exposure to antisocial behaviour, social network participation, environmental degradation, level of urbanism, exposure to natural settings, familiarity with local environment and others. Recommendations for future research include the need for innovative research methods; involvement of older adults as research collaborators; investigation of wider aspects of the active ageing concept; in-depth assessment of the environmental characteristics of areas; investigation of the pathways leading from environment to health and activity participation; and more theoretically informed research or increased contribution of research to theory development. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Annear, MJ (Dr Michael Annear)
ID Code:87508
Year Published:2014 (online first 2013)
Web of Science® Times Cited:87
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2013-11-21
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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