A Brief Note On Transportation And Health From An Anthropological Viewpoint

A Brief Note On Transportation And Health From An Anthropological Viewpoint

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ABSRACT: This paper explores how transportation and health are connected in many ways, using the photovoice method, a form of community based qualitative research. Conventional transportation often overlooks negative health impacts due to various already accepted policies and social norms. Two emerging themes within the photographs and existing literature are the negative health effects from pollution and emissions due to widespread use of motor vehicles. Additionally, the positive health effects that come from regularly using active forms of transportation, especially for youth and adolescents. Integrating solutions into policy and planning to improve overall human health should be a long term, cost effective and important goal.

KEY WORDS: Transportation, Public Health, Environment, Emissions

Throughout the photovoice assignment, my group and I have researched and analyzed the various linkages between transportation and health from an anthropological viewpoint. We examined how different modes of transportation within our society affect the earth and environment. Furthermore, we looked at the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups and how they are impacted by various modes of transportation. Methods of transportation we analyzed included, public transportation such as city busses and taxis and other forms such as cars, rollerblades, skateboards, walking and bicycles among others. Stemming from the methods of transportation previously mentioned, we discovered five prevalent and reoccurring themes pertaining to the effects of transport systems and vessels on health and the environment. These themes are pollution and emissions, transportation and exercise, transportation and mental health, socioeconomic...

... middle of paper ...

...nomic status and social determinants, and transportation sharing. This paper focused on the pollution and emissions of motorized vehicles and how it affects human health and the benefits of using active modes of transportation on human health. Findings included, that public transportation and other large motorized vehicles tend to emit the most pollutants. Automobiles emit many different types of pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides and other toxic gases (Litman, 2003). All of those chemicals, in addition to others, have been proven to contribute to several acute and chronic illnesses such as reparatory diseases (Litman, 2003). Lastly, it was found that active forms of mobility such as cycling, walking and running are sensible ways for individuals to maintain a certain level of fitness, which should be done to avoid future health issues (Litman, 2003).

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