The BlueHealth Survey will provide information about how people across Europe use urban blue environments. It will be administered to 11,000 people across eleven European countries from 2016-2017.
The survey will collect data on people’s use and appreciation of their local natural environment with a particular focus on water environments such as the coast, rivers, wetlands and lakes. As well as this, it will gather rich health and demographic data about each person responding.
Its content will be made up of established questions from a number of pre-existing European health and environmental questionnaires.
In the UK, we already know a lot about how people’s health relates to natural environments. For example, we know that residents of coastal areas are more physically active and that people’s happiness tends to increase when they move to greener urban areas.
However, we do not know if these sorts of findings translate to other European countries. Landlocked countries have no coastline and so may relate to their local water bodies in different ways. There may also be cultural differences between and within other countries which influence, for example, whether people use natural environments for health-enhancing physical activity or for the purposes of stress relief.
The data collected in the BlueHealth survey will begin to answer some of these questions.
To begin with, we will investigate what kinds of activities people do in different types of natural environment across Europe and the implications this has for public health.
We will also look at how people feel when they visit different types of environment. Using mapping techniques, we will consider how people’s physical and mental health across Europe varies according to the amount and type of natural environments they have in their immediate surroundings.
This project is being conducted with support from all BlueHealth partners.