Related to: Natural Environment, Physical Activity, Mental Health and Illness, Ill Health and Disability, Major Causes of Mortality, General Mortality, Life Expectancy, Wellbeing, Healthy Weight, Waste and Recycling, Crime and Disorder, Active Travel
For more information on plans for future housing developments, please visit the core strategy evidence base,
What does the data say?
Built Environment and Human Health
Peoples' health and wellbeing does not exist in isolation but influences and is influenced by the world in which they live and work. The built environment is critical to people's abiltiy to become and remain, physically and mentally healthy. (see model by Dahlgren and Whitehead 1 below)
There is increasing evidence that the built environment can directly or indirectly influence health via encouraging a more active lifestyle, influencing people's physical, mental and social health and Wellbeing. 2
Studies have shown that, from a physical activity perspective, that adults living in more walkable neighbourhoods have higher levels of transport-related walking, overall Physical Activity and a lower body mass index (BMI) and [[obesity]] than those in less walkable neighbourhoods. Other built environment features also appear to be important for health, such as the distribution, accessibility, aesthetics and quality of destinations, including public open space, the presence of greenery, and perceived safety. 3
The World Health Organisation HEAT tool estimates that if everyone in B&NES between the ages of 20 and 74 walked for just 20 minutes a day then mortality in that age group would drop by approximately 16%, or approximately 60 less deaths a year. 4
The built environment does not only influence levels of physical activity but also influences peoples mental and social health 5 .
A report published in 2012 6lists ways that the built environment can influence health in B&NES. these include:
- Poor Mental Health, including anxiety and depression
- Obesity and type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory disease
- Mortality caused by extremes of hot and cold
- Unintentional injuries
- Access to high quality health and social care services
- Health inequalities (the variation in outcomes between different areas or social groups)
What does the community say?
2014 Voicebox Resident Survey 7
A summary of waste, recycling and litter Voicebox results can also be found here.
The large scale Voicebox Resident Survey aims to provide an insight into Bath and North East Somerset and its local communities and to capture resident’s views and experiences of their local area and council services. The questionnaires are posted to 3,150 addresses selected randomly in the local authority area. Selected respondents also have the opportunity to complete the survey online.
A total of 975 residents completed the Voicebox Survey carried out in 2014, a response rate of 31%.
It asked a series of questions about litter/mess in the local area, covering the following topics:
- last time people saw litter/mess in the local area
- clearing up of litter/mess
- reporting of litter/mess
Last time people saw litter/mess in the local area – When respondents were asked - When was the last time you saw litter/mess in your local area?-
62% of respondents outlined they had seen litter or mess in their area within the last week.
Figure 1: When respondents to the 2014 Voicebox Survey had last seen litter/mess in their local area 8
Clearing up of litter/mess - When respondents were asked - If you see litter/mess outside your property do you clear it up? -
85% of respondents outlined if they see litter/mess outside their property they would clear it up. The proportion of men and women that said they would clear litter/mess outsider their property was very similar, 86% of men, and 85% of women. However, there were greater differences between the age groups:
Figure 2: Respondents to the 2014 Voicebox Survey that would clear up litter/mess outside their property - by age 9
Reporting of litter/mess - When respondents were asked - Would you usually report litter/mess to the Council? -
20% of respondents would report litter/mess to the Council, 18% of men and 20% women. The age group with the greatest proportion that said they would report litter/mess to the council was 75-84 year olds (39%), and the age group with the smallest proportion was 18-34 years (13%).
- 18-34 yrs 13%
- 35-44 yrs 17%
- 45-54 yrs 18%
- 55-64 yrs 22%
- 65-74 yrs 25%
- 75-84 yrs 39%
- 85+ yrs 31%
When the 185 respondents who said they would report litter/mess to the Council were asked - How would you report litter/mess to the Council?-
76% said they would do so over the phone, 28% would email, 16% would report it through the Council website, 2% by letter, and 1% by text.
- 1. Dahlgren G, Whitehead M. Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Stockholm: Institute for Future Studies; 1991.
- 2. Villanueva et al (2012) The impact of the built environment on health across the life course: design of a cross-sectional data linkage study BMJ http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/1/e002482.full
- 3. Villanueva et al (2012) The impact of the built environment on health across the life course: design of a cross-sectional data linkage study BMJ http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/1/e002482.full
- 4. WHO (2010) HEAT tool for walking and cycling http://www.heatwalkingcycling.org/index.php?pg=walking&act=introduction
- 5. Goodwin RD. Association between physical activity and mental disorders among adults in the United States. Prev Med 2003;36:698–703
- 6. HUDU (2012) Delivering Healthier Communities in London http://www.healthyurbandevelopment.nhs.uk/documents/integrating_health/HUDU_Delivering_Healthier_Communities.pdf
- 7. Marketing Means (2015) Voicebox 23, Results weighted by Age and Gender, Bath and North East Somerset Council, November 2014 – January 2015
- 8. Marketing Means (2015) Voicebox 23, Results weighted by Age and Gender, Bath and North East Somerset Council, November 2014 – January 2015
- 9. Marketing Means (2015) Voicebox 23, Results weighted by Age and Gender, Bath and North East Somerset Council, November 2014 – January 2015