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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(2), 190; doi:10.3390/ijerph13020190

Effects of the Residential Environment on Health in Japan Linked with Travel Behavior

Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, 1-5-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8529, Japan
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Academic Editors: Harry Timmermans, Astrid Kemperman and Pauline van den Berg
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
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Abstract

This paper aims to clarify how the residential environment is associated with overall health-related quality of life (QOL) via active travel (walking and cycling), by reflecting the influence of different trip purposes in Japan. The health-related QOL includes physical, mental, and social dimensions. For this study we implemented a questionnaire survey in 20 cities in Japan in 2010 and obtained valid answers from 1202 respondents. The residential environment is defined in terms of distances to and densities of different daily facilities extracted from both the survey and external GIS data. We found that the effects of residential environment on active travel behavior are mixed and limited, depending on types of trip makers. Unexpectedly, travel behavior has no direct effects on the health-related QOL. The residential environment, which is only observed indirectly via lifestyle habits for commuters, has limited effects on health. As for noncommuters, neither their travel behavior nor the residential environment influences their health-related QOL. View Full-Text
Keywords: active travel behavior; physical health; mental health; social health; residential environment active travel behavior; physical health; mental health; social health; residential environment
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

Perez Barbosa, D.; Zhang, J.; Seya, H. Effects of the Residential Environment on Health in Japan Linked with Travel Behavior. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 190.

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