Welcome to the home of the Built Environment and Community Health (BEACH) Laboratory. The BEACH Lab is housed in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior within the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Our mission is to better understand how the neighborhoods and communities in which we live, work, and play affect the health and well-being of residents of all ages. We take a broad approach to environmental influences on health in considering how both physical and social environments and the policies that shape them affect physical activity promotion, obesity prevention, and community health in diverse settings. We adopt an environmental justice approach in exploring:
- How various population segments experience differential access to environmental resources (e.g., parks, social capital)
- How such disparities impact health behaviors (e.g., physical activity, healthy eating) and outcomes (e.g., obesity, chronic disease), and
- How we can develop and implement tools and interventions to promote equitable participation in community processes that promote health and well-being at the individual and community level.