Video: Moving to Health

Where you live can affect your health, and a $2.67-million NIDDK-funded UW/KPWHRI project explores how

David Arterburn, MD, MPH, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and an affiliate professor in the University of Washington Department of Medicine describes his new study.


VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: I think the most exciting thing about what we’re doing is that we get to understand whether or not when you move to a new neighborhood, that moving to a new neighborhood could influence your future health.

Where you live makes a big difference to your health

Some neighborhoods in King County, including Seattle, have lots of obesity and diabetes.

But in other neighborhoods, just a mile or two away, people are healthier.

Our new research project, called Moving to Health, gives us a unique chance to learn what matters most about your neighborhood for your health:

• Is it being able to walk or bike to work, school, stores, or parks?

• Or is it being able to get healthy food nearby?

We’ve had hunches about what why people in certain ZIP codes stay healthier. But this study gives us a chance to see which of those things matter most.

This time, we’re zooming in closer than ZIP codes. We can get down to each building.

Keeping private all information that could identify anyone, we’re using information from the past dozen years about more than 400,000 Kaiser Permanente members in King County.

About 1 in 3 of them have moved to a different house during that time.

We’ll see how moving from one kind of neighborhood to another affected their long-term weight and whether they got diabetes.

We’ll also see whether more gradual changes in neighborhoods were linked to their weight and blood sugar.

Designing for the future: Healthier, more livable communities

And so patients and policymakers can understand whether or not the characteristics of different neighborhoods might influence patients’ health in the long term.

What’s working in some communities that could help everyone be healthier?

The answer may help urban planners create healthier communities.