BMJ open 2016 Oct 286(10) e012643 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012643
The Examining Neighbourhood Activities in Built Living Environments in London (ENABLE London) project is a natural experiment which aims to establish whether physical activity and other health behaviours show sustained changes among individuals and families relocating to East Village (formerly the London 2012 Olympics Athletes’ Village), when compared with a control population living outside East Village throughout.
Between January 2013 and December 2015, 1497 individuals from 1006 households were recruited and assessed (at baseline) (including 392 households seeking social housing, 421 seeking intermediate and 193 seeking market rent homes). The 2-year follow-up rate is 62% of households to date, of which 57% have moved to East Village.
FINDINGS TO DATE
Assessments of physical activity (measured objectively using accelerometers) combined with Global Positioning System technology and Geographic Information System mapping of the local area are being used to characterise physical activity patterns and location among study participants and assess the attributes of the environments to which they are exposed. Assessments of body composition, based on weight, height and bioelectrical impedance, have been made and detailed participant questionnaires provide information on socioeconomic position, general health/health status, well-being, anxiety, depression, attitudes to leisure time activities and other personal, social and environmental influences on physical activity, including the use of recreational space and facilities in their residential neighbourhood.
The main analyses will examine the changes in physical activity, health and well-being observed in the East Village group compared with controls and the influence of specific elements of the built environment on observed changes. The ENABLE London project exploits a unique opportunity to evaluate a ‘natural experiment’, provided by the building and rapid occupation of East Village. Findings from the study will be generalisable to other urban residential housing developments, and will help inform future evidence-based urban planning.