EXPANSE Urban Lab Study
The living environment influences our health: where we live, what we eat, how much we exercise, the kind of employment we have and whom we associate with; all of these environmental factors play a role. But how important are they to our health and how are they interrelated? This is not yet clear. The Urban Labs study will map this out through a large-scale and long-term study in five European countries: Greece, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.
Around four thousand people in total are participating in the Urban Labs Study, eight hundred per location. After registering, participants receive a wearable GPS tracker, a silicone wristband, an activity tracker, equipment for taking blood and stool samples at home and two sensors to measure air quality (one to carry with them on a daily basis and one to hang in a window). They also keep a diary in which they record their daily activities, and particularly the locations in which they are carried out. Most measurements are then repeated a year later.
It is too early to comment on the results as most countries are still in the early stages and participants are being recruited. Researchers will be able to take a first look at the questionnaires at the end of the year, which only provide a broad picture. It will be some time before the measurements can be analyzed.