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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Coosje Hammink, Nienke Moor and Masi Mohammadi

This systematic literature review focusses on original research that examines the effect of persuasive architectural interventions on stimulating health behaviour. This…

Abstract

Purpose

This systematic literature review focusses on original research that examines the effect of persuasive architectural interventions on stimulating health behaviour. This paper gives an overview of the empirical evidence and aims to examine the evidence for health behaviour change through architectural interventions and the underlying theoretical pathways and mechanisms using social cognitive theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviewed 40 peer-reviewed articles found through Scopus, Google Scholar, Web of Science, PubMed and a supplementary hand search and examined for effect, type of interventions, type of behaviour and underlying mechanisms using social cognitive theory.

Findings

This review shows that architectural interventions can stimulate healthy behaviour. However, much of the research focusses on specific health behaviours (physical activity), in specific target groups (children or older adults) and with specific types of interventions (supplying provisions). Furthermore, the effect of the physical environment on cognitive factors should be taken into consideration.

Research limitations/implications

Hardly any research on smart architectural interventions for health behaviour change exists, but combining insights from product design and built environment has the potential to impact designing for health behaviour change.

Originality/value

Stimulating certain types of health behaviour can positively contribute to health goals and has been the focus of many health promotion practitioners over the years. The focus of health promotion interventions has primarily been on social and psychological factors. However, current research shows the importance of the physical environment as an influence on health behaviour. Potentially, with the use of smart technology, this effect could be enhanced.

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