Creating a healthy home is a community effort
We spend the majority of our time at home and indoors, so ensuring that you’re creating a healthy home environment is a significant factor in protecting your overall well-being.
There are dozens of checklists out there for creating a healthy home environment, but these solutions don’t stop at your front door. As BUSPH professor Jonathan I. Levy ScD points out in the video below from Population Health Exchange (PHX), the work should extend outside of your home in order to have the most impact.
Here are some additional neighborhood factors to keep in mind when assessing the health of your home:
Your home affects your neighbors and vice versa
Checklists for creating a healthy home environment focus on how you can improve your space, but don’t always take into account what your neighbors may be doing. Second-hand cigarette smoke could travel from your neighbor’s space to yours, or a leaking faucet might lead to mold growing in your ceiling. These factors, if left unaddressed, could cause unsafe and unhealthy conditions for people who live in single-family or multi-family homes.
Don’t forget to take into account what your neighbors may be doing and take the necessary steps to lessen these issues to create a healthy home environment for you and your neighbors.
Your home affects people outside your community
While opening windows when cooking can help ventilate your space and create a healthier home environment, those steps can reduce the energy efficiency of your home. If you’re adopting these habits into your daily routine, be mindful of how often you’re doing so and the impact they can have on your community as well as the community at large.
Additionally, installing solar panels or other alternative energy technologies help in creating a healthy home environment for you and those outside your home by reducing the use of fossil fuels. Explore these options if it’s something that makes sense for you and your home. There are many government incentives to help pay for these updates – for individual homes and for developers.
Your community can advocate for its health
Location can be a big factor in creating a healthy home environment plan. Trees next to your home and lining the streets of your neighborhood help not only with temperature regulation inside your home, but have been proven to help reduce stress. If your neighborhood is walkable and near public transportation stops, people will drive less and walk more, benefiting the environment and your physical health—a win-win!
Working with your neighbors, you can collectively advocate for these health-improvement projects to reduce the environmental impact of your homes and improve the mental and physical health of you and your neighbors.
Creating a healthy home environment to benefit you and your community is an ongoing process. By working together, we can establish changes and improvements that will serve as a positive influence for years and generations to come.
PHX is a resource hub and continuing education experience for health, providing opportunities to engage with field experts online and in the classroom and developing new perspectives and advanced skill sets for enhancing the health of populations. Their lifelong learning resources provide affordable opportunities to grow professionally and keep up with emerging population health trends in convenient, collaborative, and cross-sectional environments. Learn more at populationhealthexchange.org