The impact of built environment on mental health: A COVID-19 lockdown perspective

Jie Xiao, Jianfeng Zhao*, Zhiwen Luo, Fang Liu, David Greenwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Tackling mental health has become a priority for governments around the world because it influences not only individuals but also the whole society. As people spend a majority of their time (i.e., around 90%) in buildings, it is pivotal to understand the relationship between built environment design and mental health, particularly during COVID-19 when people are experiencing recurrent local and national lockdowns. Despite the demonstration by previous research that the design of the built environment can affect mental health, it is not clear if the same influence pattern remains when a ‘black swan’ event (e.g., COVID-19) occurs. To this end, we performed logistic regression and hierarchical regression analyses to examine the relationship between built environment and mental health utilising a data sample from the United Kingdom (UK) residents during the COVID-19 lockdown while considering their social demographics. Our results show that compared with depression and anxiety, people are more likely to feel stressed during the lockdown period. Furthermore, general house type, home workspace, and neighbourhood environment and amenity are identified to have significantly contributed to mental health status. With the ensuing implications, this study represents one of the first to inform policymakers and built environment design professionals of how built environment should be designed to accommodate features that could mitigate mental health problems in any future crisis. As such, it contributes to the body of knowledge of built environment planning by considering mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102889
Number of pages16
JournalHealth & Place
Volume77
Early online date18 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022

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