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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 183; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020183

Environment and Its Influence on Health and Demographics in South Korea

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Gyeonggi-do 17104, Korea
2
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
3
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Gyeonggi-do 17104, Korea
4
Department of Industrial and System Engineering, Dongguk University, Seoul 04620, Korea
5
The HIMS Inc., Gyeonggi-do 16702, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Harry Timmermans, Astrid Kemperman and Pauline van den Berg
Received: 20 September 2015 / Revised: 14 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3496 KB, uploaded 4 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

As the prevalence of overweight and obesity has been increasing in South Korea, it is critical to better understand possible associations between environmental surroundings and general health status. We characterize key health test readings and basic demographic information from 10,816 South Koreans, obtained from two Ubiquitous Healthcare (U-Healthcare) centers that have distinct surrounding neighborhood characteristics. One is located in a rural area in Busan, the other is located in an urban area in Daegu surrounded by a highly crowded residential and commercial business area. We analyze comprehensive health data sets, including blood pressure, body mass index, pulse rate, and body fat percentage from December 2013 to December 2014 to study differences in overall health test measurements between users of rural and urban U-Healthcare centers. We conduct multiple regression analyses to evaluate differences in general health status between the two centers, adjusting for confounding factors. We report statistical evidence of differences in blood pressure at the two locations. As local residents are major users, the result indicates that the environmental surroundings of the centers can influence the demographics of the users, the type of health tests in demand, and the users’ health status. We further envision that U-Healthcare centers will provide public users with an opportunity for enhancing their current health, which could potentially be used to prevent them from developing chronic diseases, while providing surveillance healthcare data. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-healthcare; physical activity; U-Healthcare; neighborhood and health; environment; health promotion self-healthcare; physical activity; U-Healthcare; neighborhood and health; environment; health promotion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bravo Santisteban, R.D.; Kim, Y.L.; Farooq, U.; Kim, T.-S.; Youm, S.; Park, S.-H. Environment and Its Influence on Health and Demographics in South Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 183.

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