Researchers mapped out the neighbourhood features from the areas around the participants' homes, such as residential density, number of street intersections, public transport stops, number of parks, mixed land use, and nearest public transport points.

The study published in The Lancet journal included 6,822 adults aged 18-66 from 14 cities in 10 countries.

Physical activity was measured by using accelerometers worn around participants' waists for a minimum of four days, recording movement every minute.

On average, participants across all 14 cities did 37 minutes per day moderate to vigorous physical activity - equivalent to brisk walking or more.

The four neighbourhood features which were most strongly associated with increased physical activity were high residential density, number of intersections, number of public transport stops, and number of parks within walking distance.

The researchers controlled for factors including age, sex, education, marital and employment status and whether neighbourhoods were classed as high or low income.

The activity-friendly characteristics applied across cities, suggesting they are important design principles that can be applied internationally.

The difference in physical activity between participants living in the most and least activity-friendly neighbourhoods ranged from 68-89 minutes per week, representing 45-59 percent of the recommended 150 minutes per week.

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