Background: The aim of this study was to review the evidence to date on the association between physical activity and safety from crime. Methods: Articles with adult populations of 500+ participants investigating the association between physical activity and safety from crime were included. A methodological quality assessment was conducted using an adapted version of the Downs and Black checklist. Results: The literature search identified 15,864 articles. After assessment of titles, abstracts and full-texts, 89 articles were included. Most articles (84.3%) were derived from high-income countries and only 3 prospective articles were identified. Articles presented high methodological quality. In 38 articles (42.7%), at least one statistically significant association in the expected direction was reported (ie, safety from crime was positively associated with physical activity). Nine articles (10.1%) found an association in the unexpected direction and 42 (47.2%) did not find statistically significant associations. The results did not change when we analyzed articles separately by sex, age, type of measurement, or domains of physical activity evaluated. Conclusion: The current evidence, mostly based on cross-sectional studies, suggests a lack of association between physical activity and safety from crime. Prospective studies and natural experiments are needed, particularly in areas with wide crime variability.
- Physical activity correlates
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine