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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(9):5121, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1809888

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted mental health. Growing research has identified the mental health benefits of nature contact, including gardening. We used a cross-sectional survey to investigate the association between gardening and other outdoor activities with anxiety among U.S. adults. The RANG (Reducing Anxiety with Nature and Gardening) survey was distributed online from June–September 2020 through social media (Twitter and Facebook) and a national Master Gardeners listserv. Survey questions captured demographics, COVID-19 experiences, gardening, outdoor activities, and anxiety using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale. Data were analyzed using chi-square, Fisher's exact, and Kruskal–Wallis tests, as well as logistic regression. Among participants, 46% reported anxiety symptoms. Participants who had gardened ≥15 years and those gardening > 8 h over two weeks had lower anxiety scores. Spending more time outdoors on weekdays also decreased anxiety scores. After adjusting for covariates, lower odds of anxiety were identified for 50–69 and 70–89-year-olds vs. 18–29-year-olds;males vs. females;and Texas vs. Maryland residents. These findings confirm increased anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest that sustained gardening and other outdoor activities could help reduce anxiety.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(12)2020 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725661

ABSTRACT

In the past century, dramatic shifts in demographics, globalization and urbanization have facilitated the rapid spread and transmission of infectious diseases across continents and countries. In a matter of weeks, the 2019 coronavirus pandemic devastated communities worldwide and reinforced the human perception of frailty and mortality. Even though the end of this pandemic story has yet to unfold, there is one parallel that is undeniable when a comparison is drawn between the 2019 coronavirus and the 1918 influenza pandemics. The public health response to disease outbreaks has remained nearly unchanged in the last 101 years. Furthermore, the role of environments and human behaviors on the effect and response to the coronavirus pandemic has brought to light many of the historic and contemporaneous inequalities and injustices that plague the United States. Through a reflection of these pandemic experiences, the American burden of disparity and disproportionality on morbidity, mortality and overall social determinants of health has been examined. Finally, a reimagination of a post-coronavirus existence has also been presented along with a discussion of possible solutions and considerations for moving forward to a new and better normal.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus , Health Behavior , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Social Determinants of Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Environment , Female , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(22)2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512344

ABSTRACT

Active transportation (AT) is widely viewed as an important target for increasing participation in aerobic physical activity and improving health, while simultaneously addressing pollution and climate change through reductions in motor vehicular emissions. In recent years, progress in increasing AT has stalled in some countries and, furthermore, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created new AT opportunities while also exposing the barriers and health inequities related to AT for some populations. This paper describes the results of the December 2019 Conference on Health and Active Transportation (CHAT) which brought together leaders from the transportation and health disciplines. Attendees charted a course for the future around three themes: Reflecting on Innovative Practices, Building Strategic Institutional Relationships, and Identifying Research Needs and Opportunities. This paper focuses on conclusions of the Research Needs and Opportunities theme. We present a conceptual model derived from the conference sessions that considers how economic and systems analysis, evaluation of emerging technologies and policies, efforts to address inclusivity, disparities and equity along with renewed attention to messaging and communication could contribute to overcoming barriers to development and use of AT infrastructure. Specific research gaps concerning these themes are presented. We further discuss the relevance of these themes considering the pandemic. Renewed efforts at research, dissemination and implementation are needed to achieve the potential health and environmental benefits of AT and to preserve positive changes associated with the pandemic while mitigating negative ones.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exercise , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation
4.
Health Secur ; 19(S1): S14-S26, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254356

ABSTRACT

The long, fallacious history of attributing racial disparities in public health outcomes to biological inferiority or poor decision making persists in contemporary conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the disproportionate impacts of this pandemic on communities of color, it is essential for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to focus on how structural racism drives these disparate outcomes. In May and June 2020, we conducted a 6-state online survey to examine racial/ethnic differences in exposure to COVID-19, risk mitigation behaviors, risk perceptions, and COVID-19 impacts. Results show that Black and Hispanic individuals were more likely than White respondents to experience factors associated with structural racism (eg, living in larger households, going to work in person, using public transportation) that, by their very nature, increase the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19. Controlling for other demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, non-White respondents were equally or more likely than White respondents to take protective actions against COVID-19, including keeping distance from others and wearing masks. Black and Hispanic respondents also perceived higher risks of dying of the disease and of running out of money due to the pandemic, and 40% of Black respondents reported knowing someone who had died of COVID-19 at a time when the US death toll had just surpassed 100,000 people. To manage the current pandemic and prepare to combat future health crises in an effective, equitable, and antiracist manner, it is imperative to understand the structural factors perpetuating racial inequalities in the COVID-19 experience.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health/ethnology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Racism/statistics & numerical data , Adult , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , /statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Social Isolation , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
5.
Toxicol Ind Health ; 36(9): 689-702, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947903

ABSTRACT

In Spring/Summer 2020, most individuals living in the United States experienced several months of social distancing and stay-at-home orders because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Clinicians, restaurant cooks, cashiers, transit operators, and other essential workers (EWs), however, continued to work outside the home during this time in order to keep others alive and maintain a functioning society. In the United States, EWs are often low-income persons of color who are more likely to face socioeconomic vulnerabilities, systemic racism, and health inequities. To assess the various impacts of COVID-19 on EWs, an online survey was distributed to a representative sample of individuals residing in six states during May/June 2020. The sample included 990 individuals who identified as EWs and 736 nonessential workers (NWs). We assessed differences between EW and NW respondents according to three categories related to health equity and social determinants of health: (1) demographics (e.g. race/ethnicity); (2) COVID-19 exposure risk pathways (e.g. ability to social distance); and (3) COVID-19 risk perceptions (e.g. perceived risk of contracting COVID-19). EWs were more likely to be Black or Hispanic than NWs and also had lower incomes and education levels on average. Unsurprisingly, EWs were substantially more likely to report working outside the home and less likely to report social distancing and wearing masks indoors as compared to NWs. EWs also perceived a slightly greater risk of contracting COVID-19. These findings, which we discuss in the context of persistent structural inequalities, systemic racism, and health inequities within the United States, highlight ways in which COVID-19 exacerbates existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities faced by EWs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Demography/statistics & numerical data , Health Equity , Industry/statistics & numerical data , Infection Control/methods , Social Determinants of Health , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Commerce , Cooking , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
6.
Sustainable Cities and Society ; : 102580, 2020.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-899492

ABSTRACT

The goal of this research was to investigate the multifaceted interrelationships between the built and social environments and the impact of this relationship on population-level health in the context of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). More specifically, this study assessed the relationship between several social determinants of health, including housing quality, living condition, travel pattern, race/ethnicity, household income, and COVID-19 outcomes in Washington, D.C (DC). Using built environment and social environment data extracted from the DC energy benchmarking and American Community Survey databases, more than 130,000 housing units were analyzed against COVID-19 case counts, death counts, mortality rate, age adjusted incidence rate and fatality rate data for DC wards. The results demonstrated that housing quality, living condition, race and occupation were strongly correlated with COVID-19 death count. The potential hot spots within DC were also identified based the regression model using currently available data. It can be concluded that based on the current available COVID-19 information, the identified combined built and social environment variables are the strongest and most significant predicators of COVID-19 death counts. And among those variables, crowding ratio has most significant influence, followed by work commute time and Black American Ratio.

7.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e039733, 2020 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-858123

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Impoverished neighbourhoods and communities of colour often bear the brunt of unintended transit-oriented development (TOD) impacts. These impacts have been known to come in the form of transit-induced gentrification (TIG), a socioeconomic by-product of TOD defined as a phenomenon that occurs when the provision of transit service, particularly light rail transit (LRT), 'up-scales' nearby neighbourhood(s) and displaces existing residents. Consequently, TIG or even the perception of TIG can impact health outcomes (eg, anxiety) and social determinants of health (SDOH) (eg, crime). METHODS/ANALYSIS: In 2022, the purple line (PL), a 16.2 mile LRT line, is opening in Prince George's County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, comprised of over 80% African American and Hispanic residents. By taking advantage of this natural experiment, we are proposing the GENTS (Gauging Effects of Neighborhood Trends and Sickness: Examining the Perceptions of Transit-Induced Gentrification in Prince George's County) Study in order to evaluate perceived TIG and associated health outcome and SDOH changes, at two points in time, among Prince George's County adults in a prospective case-comparison design during the pre-PL LRT period. Descriptive analysis and latent growth curve modelling will be used to examine these changes over time. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval has been granted by the University of Maryland Institutional Review Board. The GENTS Study will identify temporal changes in perceived TIG, health outcomes and SDOH among case and comparison residents before the completion and operation of the PL LRT, an under researched period of TOD. The dissemination of GENTS Study findings will be able to address research questions and policy issues that are specifically tailored to PG County while also providing more effective procedural solutions for other regions undergoing TOD and TIG risks.


Subject(s)
Perception , Residence Characteristics , Transportation Facilities/economics , Adult , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Maryland , Prospective Studies , Socioeconomic Factors
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