Student Opportunities: Active Living and the Built Environment
Urban spaces and active ageing: understanding person-environment interactions to inform activity-friendly community design
The proportion of older adults in urban areas is growing rapidly, leading to increases in health care costs associated with chronic diseases. This problem can be offset by creating urban environments that support an active lifestyle across mid-to-late adulthood. Examples of projects led by Professor Ester Cerin are (1) Age, gender and geographical differences in types and profiles of destinations promoting physical activity across mid-to-late adulthood, and (2) Activity spaces in mid-to-late adulthood.
Neighbourhood environment and ageing
Professor Gavin Turrell is undertaking research on how the neighbourhood environment influences health and well-being as we age. Possible areas of research include the built environment, the social environment, transport, planning, neighbourhood disadvantage and inequity, and urban design. These, and other factors, are examined in relation to physical activity, active travel, sedentary behavior, diet, overweight and obesity, smoking, and physical and mental health.
Built environment and older adults’ active living
The design of urban and residential environments can influence the way older adults move, interact and carry out daily activities. Environments that support active lifestyles are important for older adults to reduce the risk of chronic disease and to maintain their functional capacity thus making an important contribution to active and healthy ageing. Professor Takemi Sugiyama’s research theme investigates a wide range of environmental design attributes that support older adults’ active lifestyle and mental health.
Large social, economic, environmental, and healthy benefits will accure in society if there is an increase in use of active transport – public transport, walking and cycling. Active transport leads to increases in productivity, improvements in public health via increasing physical activity and decreasing obesity, and cost-savings to the healthcare sector. Dr Jerome Rachele’s research aims to gain a more detailed understanding of increasing active transport among an ageing population.