Health behaviours and environments

I have an ongoing interest in how the environment affects us. It does so in numerous ways, including, as Mei-Po Kwan indicates here, our health. In her editorial introduction to a special issue of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, she writes:

“In the past two decades or so, geographers and researchers in allied fields have significantly advanced our understanding of the geographies of health, disease, and well-being in different areas of the world (Gatrell and Elliott 2009; Brown, McLafferty, and Moon 2010; Meade and Emch 2010). Importantly, health scholars have reasserted the role of environment, place, context, and neighborhood as significant influences on health behaviors and outcomes (e.g., Jones and Moon 1993; Kearns 1993; Curtis and Jones 1998; Diez-Roux 1998, 2001; Macintyre, Ellaway, and Cummins 2002; McLafferty 2008). It is now widely recognized that geographic variations in health behaviors and outcomes cannot be explained exclusively in terms of the characteristics of individuals, as specific characteristics of place or neighborhoods (e.g., collective efficacy) also exert significant influence on health.” (p.891)

As most people move around in their daily lives and over the life course, they are under the influence of many different places at different times besides their residence (Gatrell 2011). Health geographers thus need to move beyond the traditional focus on static locations or places (e.g., residential neighborhood) and extend conventional conceptualizations of geographic context to take into account the effects of people’s movement and mobility on health….” (p.892)

Ref: Mei-Po Kwan (2012): Geographies of Health, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102:5, 891-892


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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