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Ahrentzen, S and Tural, E (2015) The role of building design and interiors in ageing actively at home. Building Research & Information, 43(05), 582-601.
- Type: Journal Article
- ISBN/ISSN: 0961-3218
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2015.1056336
This systematic research review examines the role of building- and interior-scale environmental factors of homes and residential developments in promoting or inhibiting older adults' sedentary behaviour and active living. Using an adaptation of the Cochrane Review protocol, the search and screen for relevant, rigorous research studies resulted in 37 research articles. The review focuses on six built environment characteristics: (1) barriers, supports and features that 'fit'; (2) spatial organization and layout; (3) environmental cues; (4) ambient qualities; (5) assistive technologies; and (6) gardens and outdoor spaces. Accessibility-oriented features dominated the studies and findings. Pathway and corridor design, and environmental cues that convey an instrumental function of a space also facilitated active living. Ambient features such as lighting quality and meaningful sounds and aromas were important facilitators to active living among residents with dementia. To strengthen the knowledge base of the field and its application in design and improvements of residential environments, future research should focus on: detailed measurement of built environment factors as well as active living; increasing use of digital technologies for such measurements; multidisciplinary research teams; and policy-driven research questions that arise with housing the growing population of older adults in a healthy manner.