Health in Habitat

A citizen science partnership project

We worked with the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health (Exeter University) to research and prototype a citizen science project exploring links between Health and Habitat.

Health in habitat

Exploring the realtionship between health and the quality of the natural environment.

It’s well documented that the natural environment has a direct impact on our health. What we don’t know is how exactly the state and quality of our natural environment affects our health and wellbeing. The European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) set us the challenge to understand these relationships, making use of citizen engagement to generate the data that could provide the answer.

Working with their research team, we co-designed a large scale citizen science project to collect information about peoples’ activities in their natural environment and how that impacts on their well-being. Our challenge was to assess the viability of, and then develop a solution for, capturing scientific data that would appeal to the masses.

Through a series of co-discovery workshops with potential end users, we developed a vision for the “Health In Habitat” app. This proposal provided an immersive experience for citizens to build and share their own unique profile whilst recording the scientific data that ECEHH needed.

Our joint vision was presented alongside notable partners as part of a Wellcome Trust application. From 120 applications Health in Habitat got to the final four, a first for Exeter University.

Following the positive reception form the Wellcome Trust, we continued to work with ECEHH to develop the idea further creating a digital prototype to test the idea. This prototype is a fully responsive website capable of collecting location based data from users.

The website allows researchers to gather information about how participants feel in different locations and ‘favourite places’. Users can map their location using GPS, postcode, or place name, label that location for quick selection later and upload a stored image or take an image using the camera of a mobile device.