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Your Environment. Your Health.

Healthy Homes

Study / Trial Background

The purpose of the study is to learn how to make homes more supportive of healthy eating and physical activity. As part of the study, participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group will receive materials with information on healthy eating and physical activity. The materials will be mailed 3 times over a 5 month period. The other group will work with a coach to make their homes more supportive of healthy eating and physical activity. Working with a coach involves 3 home visits and 4 coaching telephone calls over a 5 month period. This group will also receive materials by mail 4 different times. All participants will be asked to complete 7 telephone interviews over a 1 year period. Participants will also be asked to wear an accelerometer, a small portable device that tracks movement from physical activity, for 7 days at 2 different points in the study.

Results from the National Survey of Lead and Allergens in Housing suggest that the construction and operation of a house might have a significant influence on the level of allergens. For example, the strongest predictors for dust mite allergen were indoor humidity and age of the home.

In collaboration with researchers at Advanced Energy, a non-profit company that designs and builds energy-efficient components for homes, we have designed and implemented a study that is investigating whether construction techniques can effect levels of indoor allergens and air pollutants.

Being tested is a construction system known as SystemVision Plus which was developed by the building science team at Advanced Energy.

This system was designed to reduce relative humidity, improve temperature control, and reduce particles in indoor air.

This study examines whether we can detect a difference in the environments of the 16 control houses and 20 intervention houses over the course of 18 months. The follow-up of homes will be completed in June of 2006.

The following indicators will be monitored to determine differences between the intervention and non-intervention homes:

  • Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Allergens (endotoxin, mold spore, dust mites, etc.)
  • Particulates
  • Volatile organic compounds 

Principal Investigator

Michelle C Kegler, Dr.P.H., M.P.H. Emory University, Rollins School of Public
Julie Gazmararian, Ph.D. Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health

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