The impact of the built environment on health across the life course : design of a cross-sectional data linkage study

Villanueva, Karen, Pereira, Gavin, Knuiman, Matthew, Bull, Fiona, Wood, Lisa, Christian, Hayley, Foster, Sarah, Boruff, Bryan J., Beesley, Bridget, Hickey, Sharyn, Joyce, Sarah, Nathan, Andrea, Saarloos, Dick, & Giles-Corti, Billie (2013) The impact of the built environment on health across the life course : design of a cross-sectional data linkage study. BMJ Open, 3(1), e002482.

View at publisher (open access)


Introduction: The built environment is increasingly recognised as being associated with health outcomes. Relationships between the built environment and health differ among age groups, especially between children and adults, but also between younger, mid-age and older adults. Yet few address differences across life stage groups within a single population study. Moreover, existing research mostly focuses on physical activity behaviours, with few studying objective clinical and mental health outcomes. The Life Course Built Environment and Health (LCBEH) project explores the impact of the built environment on self-reported and objectively measured health outcomes in a random sample of people across the life course.

Methods and analysis: This cross-sectional data linkage study involves 15 954 children (0–15 years), young adults (16–24 years), adults (25–64 years) and older adults (65+years) from the Perth metropolitan region who completed the Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System survey administered by the Department of Health of Western Australia from 2003 to 2009. Survey data were linked to Western Australia's (WA) Hospital Morbidity Database System (hospital admission) and Mental Health Information System (mental health system outpatient) data. Participants’ residential address was geocoded and features of their ‘neighbourhood’ were measured using Geographic Information Systems software. Associations between the built environment and self-reported and clinical health outcomes will be explored across varying geographic scales and life stages.

Ethics and dissemination: The University of Western Australia's Human Research Ethics Committee and the Department of Health of Western Australia approved the study protocol (#2010/1). Findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at local, national and international conferences, thus contributing to the evidence base informing the design of healthy neighbourhoods for all residents.

Impact and interest:

20 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
13 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

97 since deposited on 12 Feb 2014
18 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 67183
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Built environment, Physical activity, Walking, Data linkage, Life course
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002482
ISSN: 2044-6055
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Human Geography not elsewhere classified (160499)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2014 04:02
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2014 07:07

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page