Places and health

Our Places and health programme studies the ways in which people and places interact to affect health. There is a long history of research which shows that while 'who you are' is really important for determining your chances of good health, 'where you are' also matters. A lot of research has shown that characteristics of the 'neighbourhood' seem to affect health and health inequalities.

In theory, we could use the neighbourhood environment as a lever to protect and improve health and reduce inequality - if we create the right kind of neighbourhood, we might reap public health benefits.

Our programme aims to develop our understanding of which aspects of neighbourhood environment matter most for health and how effective place-based interventions are.

We have two workstreams: Mobility in the urban environment, Place-based exposures and impacts.

We work closely with other Unit programmes on a variety of projects, for example the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Social Policy and Health Inequalities (SPHI). We are also active members of inter-University research groups and centres, including the Centre for Research on Environment Society and Health (CRESH) and the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC).

Discover more

Children's physical activity levels - what's the problem?

Urban land use and residents' mortality

What is ‘on the ground’ in a city linked to levels of inequality in life satisfaction


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Barry, S.J.E. , Marryat, L., Thompson, L. , Ellaway, A. , White, J., McClung, M. and Wilson, P. (2015) Mapping area variability in social and behavioural difficulties among Glasgow pre-schoolers: linkage of a survey of pre-school staff with routine monitoring data. Child: Care, Health and Development, 41(6), pp. 853-864. (doi: 10.1111/cch.12237) (PMID:25707313)

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Olsen, J. R. , Nicholls, N. , Panter, J., Burnett, H., Tornow, M. and Mitchell, R. (2022) Trends and inequalities in distance to and use of nearest natural space in the context of the 20-minute neighbourhood: a 4-wave national repeat cross-sectional study, 2013 to 2019. Environmental Research, 213, 113610. (doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.113610) (PMID:35690087)

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Alkhatib, A. M., Olsen, J. R. and Mitchell, R. (2021) Contextual influences on chronic illness: a multi-level analysis in the twin cities of Ramallah and Al Bireh in the occupied Palestinian Territory. Health and Place, 72, 102677. (doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102677) (PMID:34592679) (PMCID:PMC8633762)

Luo, W., Yao, J. , Mitchell, R. , Zhang, X. and Li, W. (2022) Locating emergency medical services to reduce urban-rural inequalities. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 84, 101416. (doi: 10.1016/j.seps.2022.101416)

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Forsyth, A. J.M., Davidson, N. and Ellaway, A. (2014) 'I can spot them a mile off': community shopkeepers’ experience of alcohol test-purchasing. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 21(3), pp. 221-224. (doi: 10.3109/09687637.2013.860953)

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Whitley, E. , Olsen, J. and Benzeval, M. (2022) Impact of subjective and objective neighbourhood characteristics and individual socioeconomic position on allostatic load: a cross-sectional analysis of an all-age UK household panel study. Health and Place, 78, 102930. (doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102930) (PMID:36347133)

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Ellaway, A., Benzeval, M., Green, M., Leyland, A. and Macintyre, S. (2012) "Getting sicker quicker": does living in a more deprived neighbourhood mean your health deteriorates faster? Health and Place, 18(2), pp. 132-137. (doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.08.005)

Mccrorie, P. R.W. , Fenton, C. and Ellaway, A. (2014) Combining GPS, GIS, and accelerometry to explore the physical activity and environment relationship in children and young people – a review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11(1), p. 93. (doi: 10.1186/s12966-014-0093-0)

Stewart, J. L. , Livingston, M. , Walsh, D. and Mitchell, R. (2018) Using population surfaces and spatial metrics to track the development of deprivation landscapes in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester between 1971 and 2011. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 72, pp. 124-133. (doi: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2018.06.003) (PMID:30393419) (PMCID:PMC6167737)

Traynor, O., Martin, A. , Johnstone, A. , Chng, N. R. , Kenny, J. and Mccrorie, P. (2022) A low-cost method for understanding how nature-based early learning and childcare impacts on children’s health and wellbeing. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 889828. (doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.889828) (PMID:35814071) (PMCID:PMC9260060)

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Olsen, J. R. , Nicholls, N. , Moon, G., Pearce, J., Shortt, N. and Mitchell, R. (2019) Which urban land covers/uses are associated with residents’ mortality? A cross-sectional, ecological, pan-European study of 233 cities. BMJ Open, 9(11), e033623. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033623) (PMID:31748315)

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Jidovtseff, B., Pirard, F., Martin, A. , McCrorie, P. , Vidal, A. and Pools, E. (2022) Parental assessment of benefits and of dangers determines children’s permission to play outdoors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(18), 11467. (doi: 10.3390/ijerph191811467) (PMID:36141739) (PMCID:PMC9517668)

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Young, R. , McCafferty, E., Metcalfe, J. and Van Beinum, M.A. (2011) Evaluating the Glasgow adolescent self-harm service: a seven-year retrospective investigation: final report. Technical Report. Chief Scientist Office, Glasgow, UK.

Crawford, F., Mackison, D., Mooney, J. D. and Ellaway, A. (2017) Observation and assessment of the nutritional quality of 'out of school' foods popular with secondary school pupils at lunchtime. BMC Public Health, 17, 887. (doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4900-9) (PMID:29149874) (PMCID:PMC5693536)

Green, M. A., Dorling, D. and Mitchell, R. (2018) Updating Edwin Chadwick's seminal work on geographical inequalities by occupation. Social Science and Medicine, 197, pp. 59-62. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.11.055) (PMID:29222995) (PMCID:PMC5777825)

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Davidson, N., Forsyth, A. and Ellaway, A. (2012) Shop Servers Experience of Alcohol-Related Issues and Interventions in Socially Contrasting Areas. Technical Report. Alcohol Research UK.

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Ball, K., Lamb, K., Travaglini, N. and Ellaway, A. (2012) Street connectivity and obesity in Glasgow, Scotland: Impact of age, sex and socioeconomic position. Health and Place, 18(6), pp. 1307-1313. (doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.09.007)

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