Human Mobility, Spatiotemporal Context, and Environmental Health: Recent Advances in Approaches and Methods
Environmental health researchers have long used concepts like the neighborhood effect to assessing people’s exposure to environmental influences and the associated health impact. However, these are static notions that ignore people’s daily mobility at various spatial and temporal scales (e.g., daily travel, migratory movements, and movements over the life course) and the influence of neighborhood contexts outside their residential neighborhoods. Recent studies have started to incorporate human mobility, non-residential neighborhoods, and the temporality of exposures through collecting and using data from GPS, accelerometers, mobile phones, various types of sensors, and social media. Innovative approaches and methods have been developed. This Special Issue aims to showcase studies that use new approaches, methods, and data to examine the role of human mobility and non-residential contexts on human health behaviors and outcomes. It includes 21 articles that cover a wide range of topics, including individual exposure to air pollution, exposure and access to green spaces, spatial access to healthcare services, environmental influences on physical activity, food environmental and diet behavior, exposure to noise and its impact on mental health, and broader methodological issues such as the uncertain geographic context problem (UGCoP) and the neighborhood effect averaging problem (NEAP). This collection will be a valuable reference for scholars and students interested in recent advances in the concepts and methods in environmental health and health geography.