AB038. Neighbourhood Health Niche and Well-Being Related Behaviour Change after Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Siyu Chen, Ying Chang*, Jack Benton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The quality of open space within the neighbourhood becomes crucial post- coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This paper enriches the concept of health niche (Sarkar et al., 2014) by relating well-beingrelated behaviour with small neighbourhood open space configuration. Methods: The dataset is 216 hours of video observation of elderly’ activities in 9 different open spaces of resettlement neighbourhoods. The baseline was in October of 2019 and follow-up was in October 2020. The sampling of sites has two levels: density and location. The Wilcoxon signedrank test was used to compare the total number of older adults observed per hour pre- and post-COVID-19, by five well-being-related behaviours: walking, connecting, vigorous exercise, taking notice, and sedentary activities (Benton et al. 2018). Results: There was a decrease in the total number of elderly people observed per hour from pre COVID-19 (median =14.5, IQR =21.5) to post COVID-19 (median =12.5, IQR =21.5). The Wilcoxon signed rank test showed that these differences were significant (Z=−2.774, P=0.006). For high density neighbourhoods, the Wilcoxon signed rank test showed that these differences were only significant in sedentary (Z=−3.073, P=0.002) and vigorous (Z=−2.625, P=0.009) activities, and insignificant in the total counts. The decreases were not significant for the medium density neighbourhood (Z=−0.394, P=0.694), except for taking notice activity (Z=−2.867, P=0.004). In terms of location, decreases of elderly people were mainly significant at the open spaces near doorway of buildings of low density neighbourhoods, with significant decreases in total elderly (Z=−2.23, P=0.026) and sedentary (Z=−2.67, P=0.008), walking (Z=−2.949, P=0.003) and vigorous (Z=−3.064, P=0.002) activities. The decrease was also significant for sedentary activities occurred at the doorway of high-rise buildings (Z=−2.732, P=0.006). Conclusions: The study found an absolute decline in elderly outdoor activities within resettlement neighbourhoods, but only significant for low density neighbourhoods. The health niche being affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic is open space at the doorway. The main change in the built environment is the government’s prohibition of informal self-made sitting furniture, as a social distancing control measure. This measure should be revisited to restore the health niche for the elderly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)AB038-AB038
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Public Health and Emergency
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventAPRU Global Health Conference 2021– Global Urban Health - The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong,
Duration: 18 Nov 2021 → …


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