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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Built Environment

Contact the Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention

What is Health and the Built Environment? 

The built environment is the space in which we live, work, learn, and play. It includes workplaces and housing, businesses and schools, landscapes and infrastructure.

The built environment includes our homes, schools, workplaces, parks/recreation areas, business areas and roads. It extends overhead in the form of electric transmission lines, underground in the form of waste disposal sites and subway trains, and across the country in the form of highways. The built environment encompasses all buildings, spaces and products that are created or modified by people. It impacts indoor and outdoor physical environments (e.g., weather conditions and indoor/outdoor air quality), as well as social environments (e.g., civic participation, community capacity and investment) and subsequently our health and quality of life.

(Source: Am J Public Health. 2003 September; 93(9): 1446–1450.)

Hi-5 Interventions 

The HI-5 (“high-five”) or Health Impact in Five Years Initiative is a tool that highlights non-clinical, community-wide interventions with a proven track record. Each intervention listed is associated with improved health within five years or less as well as reported cost effectiveness and/or cost savings over the lifetime of the population or earlier.

Interventions Changing the Context

  • School-Based Programs to Increase Physical Activity
  • School-Based Violence Prevention
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Motorcycle Injury Prevention
  • Tobacco Control Intervention
  • Access to Clean Syringes
  • Pricing Strategies for Alcohol Products
  • Multi-Component Worksite Obesity Prevention

(Source: Auerbach, J. (2016). The 3 buckets of prevention. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 22(3), 215-218.)

Health in All Policies  

Health in All Policies (HiAP) is a collaborative approach that integrates and articulates health considerations into policymaking across sectors to improve the health of all communities and people. HiAP recognizes that health is created by a multitude of factors beyond healthcare and, in many cases, beyond the scope of traditional public health activities. The HiAP approach provides one way to achieve the National Prevention Strategy and Healthy People 2020 goals and enhance the potential for state, territorial, and local health departments to improve health outcomes. The HiAP approach may also be effective in identifying gaps in evidence and achieving health equity

The National Prevention Strategy provides a HiAP framework to guide our nation in the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. It integrates recommendations and actions across multiple settings to focus on both increasing the length of people’s lives and ensuring that their lives are healthy and productive. The broad goal of achieving better health has resulted in a call to action across the country that encompasses everything from promoting healthy behaviors to creating environments that make it easier to exercise and access healthy foods.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the Associate Director for Policy)

FDOH Healthy Community Champions 

The Healthy Community Champions provides an opportunity to highlight local governments that have focused on improving the built environment. The department defines the Built Environment as the places where people live, work and play (e.g., homes, buildings, streets, open spaces and infrastructure), food environments (e.g., supermarkets, corner stores, farmer’s markets and food pantries), and other environmental influences (e.g., indoor/outdoor air and water quality, noise pollution and environmental toxins).

The built environment can influence residents’ physical, nutritional, and mental health within their community through policies designed to provide adequate access to physical activity opportunities, adequate access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods, access to health care and a reduction or elimination of environmental health risks to the community. Through communities working to implement policies within the built environment, a greater level of social connectedness can be experienced. As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social connectedness is achieved through strong formal relationships between organizations and support services designed to help better ensure that services are delivered and promote a person’s sense of well-being.

To learn more about the Healthy Community Champions Recognition Program  criteria please: http://www.healthiestweightflorida.com/Final_HCCP_Guidance2018.pdf