Urban Sprawl and You: How Sprawl Adversely Affects Worker Health

Mary Pohanka, Sheila Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Urban sprawl, once thought of as just an environmental issue, is currently gaining momentum as an emerging public health issue worthy of research and political attention. Characteristics seen in sprawling communities include increasing traffic volumes; inadequate public transportation; pedestrian unfriendly streets; and the division of businesses, shops, and homes. These characteristics can affect health in many ways. Greater air pollution contributes to higher asthma and other lung disorder rates. An increased dependence on the automobile encourages a more sedentary lifestyle and can potentially contribute to obesity. The increased danger and stress of long commutes can lead to more accidents, anxiety, and social isolation. Occupational health nurses can become involved by promoting physical activity in the workplace, creating programs for injury prevention and stress management, becoming involved in political smart growth measures, and educating and encouraging colleagues to become active in addressing this issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-246
Number of pages5
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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