Promote Physical Health/Improve Health Outcomes

Sound and Balance (03-18-20)

Researchers have determined that what we hear influences our balance.  The investigators report in a literature review published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck that “What people hear and do not hear can have a direct effect on their balance. . . . . ‘This study found that the sounds we hear affect our balance by giving us important information about the environment. . . . ‘ said senior author Maura Cosetti, MD. . . . people had more difficulty staying balanced or standing still on an uneven surface when it was quiet, but had better balance while listening to sounds. . . .

New Urbanism and Health (03-09-20)

Iravani and Rao looked at links between New Urbanist design and health.  They specifically studied  “how the 10 New Urbanism principles produce outcomes that affect public health. The outcomes include: (1) higher usage of non-motorized and public transit modes, which results in more physical activity; (2) lower usage of private automobiles, which results in less air pollution; (3) safer streets, which results in fewer traffic accidents; and (4) complete community planning for residents, regardless of income, age or ideas, which results in better access to health resources.

Play Space Design and Child Development/Health (02-20-20)

Particular sorts of outdoor play spaces have more positive effects on children’s health and mental development.  Researchers lead by Dankiw and Baldock determined that understanding “the importance of nature play could transform children’s play spaces, supporting investment in city and urban parks, while also delivering important opportunities for children’s physical, social and emotional development. . . . . [for] children aged 2-12 years . . . nature play improved children’s complex thinking skills, social skills and creativity. . . . this study . . .

Urban Design and Transport Injuries (02-04-20)

A study published in the medical journal The Lancet links urban design to road transport injuries. Thompson lead a study during which “1692 cities capturing one third of the world's population were classified into types based on urban design characteristics. . . . road transport injury was an estimated two-times higher . . . for the poorest performing city type compared with the best performing city type, culminating in an estimated loss of 8·71 (8·08–9·25) million disability-adjusted life-years per year attributable to suboptimal urban design.

Living in Timber Homes (01-27-20)

Furhapper and colleagues investigated the experience of living in newly-built timber homes.  They conducted a “study [that] included a comparison of the construction types timber-frame (TF) and solid wood (SF), in addition two different ventilation types, controlled vs. window ventilation. . . The emission progression of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde, was recorded and compared with the subjective well-being of the residents . . . VOC-emissions were initially elevated regardless of construction and ventilation type.

Job Control and Back Pain (01-22-20)

Buruck lead a team that linked job control and chronic lower back pain (CLBP). Job control was described as including decision authority and skill discretion; it is reasonable to tie this definition to comfortable levels of control over the physical work environment, choices of where to work, and similar factors.  Buruck and colleagues learned via a literature review and meta-analysis that “CLBP was significantly positively related to workload . . . and significantly negatively related to overall job control . . . decision authority . . .  and two measures of social support. . .

Music and Activity (01-08-20)

Patania and colleagues the experiences of people exercising while listening to music with different tempos. They evaluated data collected “during endurance (walking for 10’ at 6.5 km/h on a treadmill) and high intensity (80% on 1-RM) exercise under four different randomly assigned conditions: without music (NM), with music at 90 - 110 bpm [beats per minute] (LOW), with music at 130 - 150 bpm (MED) and with music at 170 - 190 bpm (HIGH). During each trial, heart rate (HR) and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. . . .

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