Research Study Abstract

The effect of moving to East Village, the former London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Athletes’ Village, on physical activity and adiposity (ENABLE London): a cohort study

  • Published on July 22, 2019

The built environment can affect health behaviours, but longitudinal evidence is limited. We aimed to examine the effect of moving into East Village, the former London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Athletes’ Village that was repurposed on active design principles, on adult physical activity and adiposity.

In this cohort study, we recruited adults seeking new accommodation in East Village and compared physical activity and built environment measures with these data in control participants who had not moved to East Village. At baseline and after 2 years, we objectively measured physical activity with accelerometry and adiposity with body-mass index and bioimpedance, and we assessed objective measures of and participants’ perceptions of change in their built environment. We examined the change in physical activity and adiposity between the East Village and control groups, after adjusting for sex, age group, ethnicity, housing tenure, and household (as a random effect).

We recruited participants for baseline assessment between Jan 24, 2013, and Jan 7, 2016, and we followed up the cohort after 2 years, between Feb 24, 2015, and Oct 24, 2017. At baseline, 1819 households (one adult per household) consented to initial contact by the study team. 1278 adults (16 years and older) from 1006 (55%) households participated at baseline; of these participants, 877 (69%) adults from 710 (71%) households were assessed after 2 years, of whom 441 (50%) participants from 343 (48%) households had moved to East Village. We found no effect associated with moving to East Village on daily steps, the time spent doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (either in total or in 10-min bouts or more), daily sedentary time, body-mass index, or fat mass percentage between participants who had moved to East Village and those in the control group, despite sizeable improvements in walkability and neighbourhood perceptions of crime and quality among the East Village group relative to their original neighbourhood at baseline.

Despite large improvements in neighbourhood perceptions and walkability, we found no clear evidence that moving to East Village was associated with increased physical activity. Improving the built environment on its own might be insufficient to increase physical activity.

National Institute for Health Research and National Prevention Research Initiative.


  • Claire M Nightingale PhD 1
  • Elizabeth S Limb MSc 1
  • Bina Ram PhD 1
  • Aparna Shankar PhD 1
  • Christelle Clary PhD 2
  • Daniel Lewis PhD 2
  • Prof Steven Cummins PhD 2
  • Duncan Procter PhD 3
  • Prof Ashley R Cooper PhD 3
  • Prof Angie S Page PhD 3
  • Prof Anne Ellaway PhD 5
  • Prof Billie Giles-Corti PhD 5
  • Prof Peter H Whincup PhD 1
  • Prof Alicja R Rudnicka PhD 1
  • Prof Derek G Cook PhD 1
  • Prof Christopher G Owen PhD 1


  • Population Health Research Institute, St George's, University of London, London, UK

  • Department of Public Health, Environments and Society, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

  • Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences and National Institute for Health Research Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (Nutrition Theme), University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

  • Medical Research Council/Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

  • National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Lancet Public Health

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