San Francisco Burden of Disease & Injury Study:
Determinants of Health
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Physical Environment/Transport

The Physical Environment is the built and natural environment in which we live, including open and public spaces. The physical environment includes the following targets for intervention:

Housing. Affordable, adequate local housing located within viable communities near jobs provides a buffer to other social determinants of health.

Environmental toxins in the air, soil, water and in building structures and materials have a known impact on health. Particulate air pollution can trigger asthmatic reactions as well as other illnesses. The poor are exposed disproportionately to many environmental toxins.

Transport, which the Work Group identified as a priority area within this domain.

Transport. Local dependence on the car contributes to increased levels of air pollution, reduced physical activity and the loss of community. The motor vehicle transportation network pits pedestrians and bicyclists against automobiles and trucks to create neighborhood streets that are physically unsafe.

WHO’s Solid Facts devotes an entire chapter to transport, which begins by saying that “cycling, walking and the use of public transport promote health in four ways. They provide exercise, reduce fatal accidents, increase social contact and reduce air pollution.”




Contribution to overall disease burden in SF

Downstream (Health Consequences)

What can be done?

Web resources

MEDLINE strategies

Updated March 17, 2014 • Please send feedback to Brian Katcher

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