↓ Skip to main content

The effect of changing the built environment on physical activity: a quantitative review of the risk of bias in natural experiments

Overview of attention for article published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, October 2016
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)

Mentioned by

twitter
78 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

dimensions_citation
68 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
193 Mendeley
You are seeing a free-to-access but limited selection of the activity Altmetric has collected about this research output. Click here to find out more.
Title
The effect of changing the built environment on physical activity: a quantitative review of the risk of bias in natural experiments
Published in
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, October 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12966-016-0433-3
Pubmed ID
Authors

Jack S. Benton, Jamie Anderson, Ruth F. Hunter, David P. French

Abstract

Evidence regarding the association of the built environment with physical activity is influencing policy recommendations that advocate changing the built environment to increase population-level physical activity. However, to date there has been no rigorous appraisal of the quality of the evidence on the effects of changing the built environment. The aim of this review was to conduct a thorough quantitative appraisal of the risk of bias present in those natural experiments with the strongest experimental designs for assessing the causal effects of the built environment on physical activity. Eligible studies had to evaluate the effects of changing the built environment on physical activity, include at least one measurement before and one measurement of physical activity after changes in the environment, and have at least one intervention site and non-intervention comparison site. Given the large number of systematic reviews in this area, studies were identified from three exemplar systematic reviews; these were published in the past five years and were selected to provide a range of different built environment interventions. The risk of bias in these studies was analysed using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool: for Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions (ACROBAT-NRSI). Twelve eligible natural experiments were identified. Risk of bias assessments were conducted for each physical activity outcome from all studies, resulting in a total of fifteen outcomes being analysed. Intervention sites included parks, urban greenways/trails, bicycle lanes, paths, vacant lots, and a senior citizen's centre. All outcomes had an overall critical (n = 12) or serious (n = 3) risk of bias. Domains with the highest risk of bias were confounding (due to inadequate control sites and poor control of confounding variables), measurement of outcomes, and selection of the reported result. The present review focused on the strongest natural experiments conducted to date. Given this, the failure of existing studies to adequately control for potential sources of bias highlights the need for more rigorous research to underpin policy recommendations for changing the built environment to increase physical activity. Suggestions are proposed for how future natural experiments in this area can be improved.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 78 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 193 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 2 1%
United States 1 <1%
Unknown 190 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 36 19%
Student > Master 31 16%
Researcher 30 16%
Student > Bachelor 21 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 11 6%
Other 22 11%
Unknown 42 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 31 16%
Medicine and Dentistry 21 11%
Sports and Recreations 16 8%
Environmental Science 10 5%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 5%
Other 51 26%
Unknown 55 28%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 48. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 February 2021.
All research outputs
#658,076
of 20,927,597 outputs
Outputs from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
#233
of 1,827 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#14,848
of 291,951 outputs
Outputs of similar age from International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
#1
of 3 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 20,927,597 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,827 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 27.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 291,951 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 3 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them