Building safety into active living initiatives

Keshia M. Pollack, Maryanne M. Bailey, Andrea C. Gielen, Sarah Wolf, M. Elaine Auld, David A. Sleet, Karen K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: Efforts to promote environmental designs that facilitate opportunities for physical activity should consider the fact that injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44, with transportation-related injuries the most common cause. Drawing on the latest research and best practices in the field of injury prevention, the purpose of this article is to provide those working to promote physical activity with evidence-based recommendations on building in safety while designing active environments. Method: A systematic review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature published from 1995 to 2012 was conducted to identify injury prevention strategies applicable to objectives in the Active Design Guidelines (ADG), which present design strategies for active living. Injury prevention strategies were rated according to the strength of the research evidence. Results: We identified 18 urban design strategies and 9 building design strategies that promote safety. Evidence was strong or emerging for 14/18 urban design strategies and 7/9 building design strategies. Conclusion: ADG strategies are often wholly compatible with well-accepted injury prevention principles. By partnering with architects and planners, injury prevention and public health professionals can help ensure that new and renovated spaces maximize both active living and safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S102-S105
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue numberS
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Building design
  • Physical activity
  • Safety
  • Urban design
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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