Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Built Environments

Built Environments

Built Environments

The built environment has a constant and often unnoticed impact on our daily lives and health. Awareness of these influences can allow us to be more actively involved in shaping the way our built envioronments are created and how they can be better suited to healthy lifestyles.

Many Canadians live in “food deserts”: neighbourhoods where residents have little or no access to stores and restaurants that provide healthy and affordable foods. Imagine a frail older woman who has to carry a heavy shopping bag for many blocks on icy sidewalks or a single father who has to struggle aboard a crowded bus with his toddler and a load of groceries.

Does excessive exposure to artificial light at night have a harmful impact on human health? “Light pollution” from powerful street lamps and business and office buildings that are lit throughout the night reduces much of our natural exposure to darkness.

Video lottery terminals (VLTs) are electronic gambling machines. For many people, gambling can lead to problem behaviours that have a negative impact on their health and well-being, and may also contribute to poverty and inequality.