Rochdale's location on the edge of the Pennines ensures that the residents of the borough have access to miles of countryside with attractive scenery and 10 Green Flag awarded parks as well as waterways and the popular Hollingworth Lake.
How is environment linked to health?
The way most residents are likely to perceive 'environment' is in relation to their immediate physical environment, with issues such as refuse collections, fly-tipping, street cleaning and parks being important.
Environmental elements identified by Marmot as having a significant impact on health, as well as relating to socioeconomic status, are pollution, green and open spaces, transport, food, housing, community participation and social isolation.
The major human sources of air pollution are the combustion of fuels for heat, electricity and transport. Regardless of socioeconomic status, urban areas tend to have higher pollutant levels than rural areas, which often have larger populations in the mid-range of deprivation (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2017).
What health benefits come from the environment?
There is significant and growing evidence on the health benefits of access to good quality green spaces. The benefits include better self-rated health, improved mental health and wellbeing, increased longevity and lower body mass index, overweight and obesity levels.
Increasing the use of good quality green space for all social groups is likely to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. It can also bring other benefits such as greater community cohesion and reduced social isolation.
Statistics on the environment
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Wider determinants of health profile - the wider determinants of health profile includes a section on the natural and built environment and contains data on noise complaints, air pollution, access to woodland and healthy assets, air pollution and utilisation of outdoor space for health reasons.
Information and guidance on the environment
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Supporting material on the built and natural environment - this section of the profile includes resources, ideas for interventions and case studies on the environment.