Aims: Walking and cycling are beneficial for urban adults' health. Transport and recreation are modifiable domains of major physical activity resources. The purposes of this study were to explore associations among psychological and environmental factors, walking and cycling behaviours and quality of life by developing a path model and comparing gender differences. Design: A cross-sectional study. Methods: Participants were community-dwelling healthy urban adults aged 20–65 years. Data were collected between September 2019 and June 2020 by self-reported questionnaires, including health beliefs, the neighbourhood environment, walking and cycling behaviours and the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life Scale. An ANCOVA, chi-squared tests, partial least squares-path model and a multi-group analysis were performed for statistical analyses. Results: In total, 1294 valid responses were received, which included 41.27% men and 58.73% women. Men had lower walking behaviours and better self-efficacy than women. The developed path model indicated an acceptable model fit. Significant path coefficients were found among psychological and environmental factors, walking and cycling behaviours and quality of life. The path model between men and women found no significant differences in any path coefficients. Significant path coefficients of environmental factors with cycling behaviour and of walking behaviour with quality of life were found in men but not in women. Conclusion: Improving individuals' health beliefs, self-efficacy and perceived walkability and cyclability is a beneficial strategy for promoting physical activity. Walking and cycling behaviours are recommended to improve the quality of life of urban adult populations. Impacts: What problem did the study address?. A large proportion of urban adult populations still have insufficient physical activity globally. It is essential that implications from an overall perspective of psychological and environmental factors and their interactions be integrated to develop efficient strategies for promoting physical activity and quality of life. What were the main findings?. The developed path model with an acceptable model fit found that psychological and environmental factors were important in explaining urban adults' walking and cycling behaviours and quality of life. Differences were not found between men's and women's path models. Where and on whom will the research have impact?. Improving urban adults' psychological and environmental factors might be an efficient strategy for promoting sufficient physical activity. Men's low engagement in walking behaviours should garner increased attention. Providing equal opportunities for both genders to engage in walking and cycling behaviours are recommended for health promotion in urban regions.
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