Transforming Health: Emerging technology, the built environment and health behaviors
MetadataShow full item record
Context Technological advances have a demonstrated capacity to influence patterns of behaviors by transforming the environments in which we live, work and play. Furthermore, technological innovations can also affect how well we address complex, emerging and persistent health concerns. Although there are an increasing number of studies that explore how our physical environments—both built and natural—inform health related behaviors and, subsequently, health, there is limited research on how technology alters this relationship. Namely, there is inadequate literature supporting and exploring how increasingly pervasive digital and mobile devices influence the association between health behaviors and the built environment. Objective This exploratory analysis investigates the ways in which technological advances modify the relationship between the built environment and health behaviors in order to ultimately influence population health. Methods Key informant interviews were conducted to explore the nature and breadth of the relationship between technology, the built environment and health related behaviors. Informants drew from their expertise, scholarship and experiences in order to provide examples of and insights on this relationship. They also offered suggestions for improving the proposed causal mechanism. Conclusions There is limited research exploring the relationship between technological advancements, built environment, and health. Here, we support the existence and importance of this relationship by proposing a causal pathway, presenting scenarios substantiating this association and outlining high priority research areas.
- Health services