Sports Medicine 2021

Climate Change, Physical Activity and Sport: A Systematic Review.

Bernard P, Chevance G, Kingsbury C, Baillot A, Romain AJ, Molinier V, Gadais T, Dancause KN
Climate change impacts are associated with dramatic consequences for human health and threaten physical activity (PA) behaviors. The aims of this systematic review were to present the potential bidirectional associations between climate change impacts and PA behaviors in humans and to propose a synthesis of the literature through a conceptual model of climate change and PA. Studies published before October 2020 were identified through database searches in PubMed, PsycARTICLES, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, GreenFILE, GeoRef, Scopus, JSTOR and Transportation Research Information Services. Studies examining the associations between PA domains and climate change (e.g., natural disasters, air pollution, and carbon footprint) were included. A narrative synthesis was performed and the 74 identified articles were classified into 6 topics: air pollution and PA, extreme weather conditions and PA, greenhouse gas emissions and PA, carbon footprint among sport participants, natural disasters and PA and the future of PA and sport practices in a changing world. Then, a conceptual model was proposed to identify the multidimensional associations between climate change and PA as well as sport practices. Results indicated a consistent negative effect of air pollution, extreme temperatures and natural disasters on PA levels. This PA reduction is more severe in adults with chronic diseases, higher body mass index and the elderly. Sport and PA communities can play an important mitigating role in post-natural disaster contexts. However, transport related to sport practices is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change impacts affect PA at a worldwide scale. PA is observed to play both a mitigation and an amplification role in climate changes. PROSPERO CRD42019128314.