RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017


140 New and Emerging Research within Geographies of Health and Wellbeing (1)
Affiliation Geographies of Health and Wellbeing Research Group
Convenor(s) Gareth Griffith (University of Bristol, UK)
Sarah Bell (University of Exeter, UK)
Samuel Strong (University of Cambridge, UK)
Chair(s) Gareth Griffith (University of Bristol, UK)
Timetable Thursday 31 August 2017, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Session abstract This new and emerging session involves presentations from postgraduates and early career researchers who are actively engaged in current and emerging theoretical or methodological innovations in the field of geographies of health and wellbeing.

‘Geographies of health and wellbeing’ is intended to cover a broad spectrum of research and the range of topics relating to health, wellbeing, illness and impairment with the aim of bringing together current and emerging themes, issues and approaches. Papers will also link to other areas of geographical thought and practice, such as emotional, social, environmental and cultural geographies.
Linked Sessions New and Emerging Research within Geographies of Health and Wellbeing (2)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2017@rgs.org
Green space benefits for health and well-being: A life-course approach for urban planning, design and management
Mick Lennon (University College Dublin, Ireland)
Mark Scott (University College Dublin, Ireland)
Owen Douglas (University College Dublin, Ireland)
In recognition that the coming century will see a substantial majority of the world’s population living in urban areas, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations have developed policy frameworks and guidance which promote the increased provision of urban green space for population health. However, these undertakings do not provide specific guidance for urban policy in terms of the particular design attributes required to tackle lifestyle illnesses and to promote well-being in urban populations across the life-course. Furthermore, green spaces have generally been treated as a homogenous environment type. This paper takes a more nuanced perspective. In particular, it employs an evidence-based approach linking health well-being and green space across the life-course to advance cohort-specific and cross-cutting design interventions, and propose a general integrated green space framework for health and well-being. This framework provides a methodology for the formulation of specific evidence-informed planning and design guidance. Such guidance can more effectively respond to the varying needs of people across all life-course stages and ultimately contribute to improved health outcomes through the provision of more inclusive green spaces.
Occupied with classification: Which occupational classification scheme better predicts health outcomes?
Emily Eyles (University of Bristol, UK)
David Manley (University of Bristol, UK)
Kelvyn Jones (University of Bristol, UK)
The health gap has continued to widen despite stable, continuous policy intervention. Many domains of health inequalities have been examined, but one, work, is often resigned to be included as a part of social class rather than as an important contributor in and of itself. By separating occupation types from value-laden social classifications, a clearer picture of the linkages between working conditions within occupations and the health outcomes experienced by workers can be drawn. Using a multilevel, contextually-driven framework and data from the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), different occupational classifications are explored, specifically the NACE, an EU classification, and the ISCO, an international one. Using multilevel logistic regression, we analyse whether specific working conditions, inherent to particular occupational types, matter with respect to health or whether broader working conditions across occupational types are more important. Further, these models are compared to the same models using data reclassified into the NS-SEC, the UK socio-economic occupationally-driven classification, thereby establishing which classification scheme better predicts health outcomes. The results are then contextualised within health inequalities research.
Objective and Subjective Emotional Patterns Throughout Urban Space – an Aggregative Approach
Yonatan Schvimer (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Noam Shoval (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Recent technological advancements, most notably the proliferation of tracking technologies (GPS), real-time surveying techniques and ambulatory sensing, have allowed researchers to begin to empirically explore interactions between space and emotion. Over the past few years, two approaches to the assessment of spatial emotional interactions have emerged: the assessment of emotion as a subjective construct and the assessment of emotions as an objective construct - exploring physiological measurements collected by ambulatory sensors. To date, most empirical research exploring spatial-emotional interactions has focused on the individual level, with few exploratory studies investigating the emotional characteristics of an urban area by aggregating emotional patterns of multiple individuals. Most of these attempts have used small samples (~10 individuals) over a limited area (ten to hundreds of square meters), and for the most part can be regarded as case studies and proofs of concept. This study is the first to systematically map the emotional characteristics of a large scale urban environment using aggregative measures of emotion (objective and subjective) of a large sample of individuals. By mapping a physiological measure of emotional (Skin Conductance Level) of 68 tourists as well as the subjective emotional responses of 149 individuals to real-time surveys (employed through Experience Sampling Methods (ESM), we were able to create objective and subjective emotional maps of the city of Jerusalem, characterize emotionally arousing areas of the city, point to emotional ‘clusters’ and ‘boundaries’ and identify discontinuities (and continuities) in emotional space throughout the city. Theoretical implications for planning and policy are discussed.
Biosocial perspectives on health and place: an investigation of the stress pathway
Lucy Prior (University of Bristol, UK)
David Manley (University of Bristol, UK)
Kelvyn Jones (University of Bristol, UK)
Emerging from the wealth of quantitative studies tackling health and place relationships is a general consensus that those living in disadvantaged or deprived areas are more likely to experience worse health. However, still lacking is understanding for the mechanisms by which place ‘gets under the skin’ to become manifest in the health of bodies. Biosocial perspectives, integrating social and biological phenomenon, offer new insights into transitions from ‘neighbourhood’ exposures to individual health and wellbeing. Deprived areas are characterised by fewer and poorer quality social and physical resources, compared with more affluent areas. Thus, living in a deprived area is conceived as patterning an individual’s exposure to harmful experiences and stress: the ‘stress pathway’ of places and health. However, few neighbourhood studies have taken up biosocial ideas to explicitly test the role of stress. This paper addresses this gap by investigating whether stress acts as a mediator of the relationship of neighbourhood deprivation and general health. We operationalise stress using the concept of allostatic load, as a cumulative biological weathering related to repeated stress exposure. Data from the Understanding Society study linked to neighbourhood context in the form of Lower Layer Super Areas (LSOAs) provides a multilevel framework for mediation analyses. In this way, the paper explores whether and how allostatic load acts in the proposed causal pathway from neighbourhood deprivation to general health, encompassing physical and mental health outcomes as well as subjective measures of overall health and wellbeing.