Environmental attributes and sedentary behaviours among canadian adults

Mohammad Javad Koohsari*, Koichiro Oka, Tomoki Nakaya, Ai Shibata, Kaori Ishii, Akitomo Yasunaga, Gavin R. McCormack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The potential of the neighbourhood built environment for reducing sedentary behaviour has been highlighted in the recent research building on the socio-ecological models. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated the associations between objectively-measured environmental attributes and domain-specific sedentary behaviours in different geographical locations. Notably, high-quality environmental measures that are less data-dependent and are replicable in and comparable across different contexts are needed to expand the evidence on urban design and public health. We examined associations of environmental attributes and Space Syntax Walkability (SSW) with leisure screen time and car driving in a sample of Canadian adults. A total of 2006 Calgarian adults completed a survey that captured their leisure screen time and car driving. Environmental attributes were population density, intersection density, availability of sidewalks, availability of destinations, and SSW using geographic information systems. Adjusting for covariates, a one standard deviation increase in SSW was associated with 0.43 (95% CI −0.85, −0.02) hours/week decrease in leisure screen time. No other environmental attributes were significantly associated with leisure screen time. All environmental attributes (except the availability of sidewalks) were negatively associated with car driving. The strongest association was observed between SSW with car driving—a one standard deviation increase in SSW was associated with 0.77 (95% CI −0.85, −0.02) hours/week decrease in the car driving. Those who lived in highly populated and more connected areas with a variety of destinations nearby spent less time driving their cars. Further, our findings highlight that the composite measure of SSW is associated with both leisure screen time and car driving. Focusing on a novel environmental aspect (SSW) and an emerging health risk factor (sedentary behaviour) among a relatively large sample of Canadian adults, our study provides unique insights into environmental health research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051002
JournalEnvironmental Research Communications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Built environment
  • Car driving
  • Screen time
  • Sitting
  • Space syntax
  • Television

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • General Environmental Science
  • Food Science
  • Geology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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