The built environment is an extension of schools, homes, parks/recreation areas, workplaces, roads and business areas. It encompasses the outline of transmission lines for electricity, subversive in existence as sites for waste disposal and trains which are subway, and also transverse the country like highways. The built environment includes extensively spaces, buildings, and products in entirety created and/or tailored by people. It has got its consequences with regards to physical environments which are indoor and outdoor for example climatic circumstances and indoor/outdoor quality of air, besides social environments which include, community capacity, civic participation and investment and consequently personal health and value of life.
Environmental health: In a wider context, it covers dimensions of human health, injury and disease, mainly under the determination and/ or influence of environmental factors. They include the research on the express pathological effects regarding a variety of physical, chemical, and biological agents, besides exposing the effects with regards to health of the expansive social and physical surroundings, including urban development, housing, land-use and industry, transportation, and agriculture.
The built environment and health: Research has shown that the load regarding illness found in the built environment has proved continuously bigger on subordinate socioeconomic class and marginal populations.
Fresh substantiation, nevertheless, more and more shows that still where we subsist and work undoubtedly has effects on our health. However, underlying associations amid the built environment and explicit illnesses of human beings have been complicated to establish. Latest research tries to unearth the effects that accompany enhanced built environments with regards to physical activity, obesity, asthma, lung cancer mortality, cardiovascular disease and mental health (Kovner & Knickman, 2008).
Although, an imperative call for extensively concentrated research that will help identify ways through which the built environment unfavorably and optimistically affects health whilst developing suitable solutions to help curb, diminish or get rid of injurious effects of health.
The health burden that has an escalation besides attendant economic costs linked to higher chronic disease incidence for example obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer among others necessitate research efforts of this nature. The evidently complicated diseases remain tied to relations between environmental and genetic influences, and majority of the second may be openly allied to the built environment (Srinivasan, Et al. 2003).
Causes, Trends and other Symptoms
The relationship with regards to second-rate housing and health is evidently a cause of poor health care. Nonetheless, just of late has an emerging set of facts suggestive of mental and physical problems of health including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, attention deficit disorder, asthma, heart disease, aggressive behavior, and obesity, all associated with the built environment, principally to pitiable urban planning and insufficient housing?
Inadequate housing often indicates the population as experiencing noteworthy mental and physical stress. Falling to pieces housing including peeling paint, leaking pipes, holes and cracks in ceilings could form a stressor affecting immune system of humanity.
Housing bad condition amongst the underprivileged makes them vulnerable to disproportionate lead, contaminants, air pollutants, pests, and larger social risks. When the conditions of our buildings are poor, pest sightings swell and it is often difficult to eliminate the pest problem by mere cleaning especially where the disrepair of the structure is not corrected. Also, use of pesticide in rundown structures is a likely jeopardy to the health with regards to those living in it.
Transportation-Up until currently, the residents of the United States relied diversely on trucks and cars, burning fossil fuels for their transport. The upswing in the use of vehicles and the manner in which energy got generated add to pollution of the air consequently bearing negative consequences on health.
In communities which are expansive, trucks and cars contribute in pollution of the atmosphere due to ground-level ozone along with particulate matter, causing human health tribulations including lung disease among others mentioned above. The effects of air pollution goes mostly to older adults already having diseases of respiratory track, children, mainly the ones who are asthmatic, people experiencing inadequacy in health care, and in addition, persons who are healthy but exercises and works in the open.
Elevated reliance on motor vehicles has led to increased degrees with regards to congestion and amplified motor and pedestrian injuries and deaths. Fewer/no safe sidewalks in the town areas decreased the number of children on foot or using bicycles to schools. In fact, currently, just one tenth of children foot or use bicycles to school viewed as a two fifth decline spread over the last 20 years.
Research has shown that insufficient town planning, together with a scarcity as regards to sidewalks and bike paths, has brought in an escalation in sedentary lifestyle among children, perhaps leading to the upswing in obesity among the children.
Isolated Communities and Sedentary Lifestyles-Sedimentary and isolated lifestyles have economic, social and health impacts. Regrettably, the social and physical make of towns enhances isolation. Amplified use of computer, evident upswing in television watching, diminutive contact with regards to neighbors, anxiety regarding crime, and geographic separation has led to interconnection between communities. The segregation leads to lack of networks socially and reduced social capital, hence contributing to obesity, mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, and amplified mortality rates. Those living in the isolated communities usually are not capable of effecting changes and/or dealing with crises and/or challenges of public health.
Major Implications to Health care-Health Disparities
Minority and low income communities have a burden of health problems. These communities typically posses restricted admission to housing stock of quality and stay in places not able to accommodate activities of outdoor nature whilst providing majority options of healthy foods. Inequities regarding building and maintaining small income housing, particularly used for Blacks, the aged, disable people, and immigrants, have led to unsatisfactory housing, congestion, pitiable class housing, and elevated levels of population density and problems of health.
Accordingly, the people are likely to be attacked by a huge amount of diseases of the respiratory track, obesity, developmental disorders, mental illness and chronic illnesses. Research has also proved that reduced physical environment alongside increasing criminal activities have made the communities insecure while walking while in exceptional circumstances ensuing increased social separation.
Thoughts and Opinions
The article is good to environmental health education and shows that whilst research centralizes on negative impacts of public health regarding the built environment, a reduced spotlights as concerns the gains of existing in sustainable communities, hence necessitating research agenda. Appreciative associations of health and socioeconomic inequity remain vital in dropping vulnerability to hazards of environment besides the disparities regarding health. Creating substantially environmentally healthy and conscious communities necessitate collaborations and partnerships with policymakers, communities, researchers, governments, and specialists in health having wider perspectives of the same (Kovner & Knickman, 2008).
A way to manage sustainable communities is by assessing the health benefits with regards to resourceful or every other energy of the environment while creating models that accommodate cost-effectiveness in the process of achieving environmentally cheap technologies. Attentiveness to the consequences of environmental health also needs the acceptance of divergent discipline research approaches with regards to environmental health, including health professionals, planners, public health researchers, builders, architects, and officials of transport. These diverse disciplines will be vital in developing measures and indicators of sustainable communities besides clarifying their relationship with environmental health.
Improvement of strategies of partnership and communication in a variety of entities; by mainly encouraging participation in research accomplishments by community is of essence, whilst translating the findings of the research to policy and identifying variables and factors moderating and linking the health impacts of built environment.