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Table 3 Individual’s testimonies

From: Unhealthy lifestyles, environment, well-being and health capability in rural neighbourhoods: a community-based cross-sectional study

Economic development
It’s a good neighbourhood to live but lacks jobs! My son had to move to a city. There is no industry to employ young people. It is a good place to live, anyway. It’s a good place to grow old… has nursing homes.” Male, 55–60, Parish Council (Espinhal 583)
There is a lack of jobs, we need more industry to attract young people. We have an industrial area, but is not enough; it has few companies and pay poorly.” Male, 60–65, Parish Council (Espinhal 581)
It’s a quiet neighbourhood, but it could have better living conditions; the population is very old. There should be more investment to attract (young) people, because it is good to live here. We are close to cities.” Female, 60–65, Parish Council (Redinha 537)
We are from here. I was away (in a city) for some time, five years, almost, to do an extension of my studies. Then, with family, I decided to come and to stay (...) It is needed to work on attracting more investment to empower the neighbourhood at all levels. (...) With more investment, the socio-economic (development) will pull the remaining sectors. I am an electrical engineer, I used to work on innovation in another city; now I work in a city nearby, I develop software. There is an increasing flexibility (about working from home) in our area. No, I don’t earn more (money). (...) Life is not just money. Her childhood is worth than a few euros more! (...) By working from home, I can go further (professionally) and be with my daughter.” Male, 30–35, Municipality Council (Penela 490)
I wouldn’t change anything. (…) It’s quiet. Lately, many people are buying houses to restore; there is more investment. (laughs) I like it very much.” Female, 70–75, Parish Council (Zambujal 507)
Built environment
I have a coffee shop. The business is going well, but it has gone better in the past. We used to have a school; classes started to decrease in number of kids and the school closed. They (kids) used to came here to eat and drink; not anymore.” Female, 75–80, Parish Council (Redinha 704)
I really enjoy living here. (…) We need a supermarket, a nursing home, a kindergarten; these are the most necessary things. (…) I used to live and work in a city, but I didn’t like it. It’s calmer here. I like it!” Female, 50–55, Parish Council (Zambujal 526)
It’s a good neighbourhood to live. We have a bank, a pharmacy, a supermarket and a coffee shop. However, activities for family are lacking for example. There is no place to take children to play, not even a playground.” Female, 40–45, Parish Council (Redinha 539)
We need a mini market and coffee shop to socialize. I have no driving license; the bus comes on Tuesdays and Fridays and takes us to the market. (…) People leave to places with more services.” Female, 55–60, Small Village (Serra de Janeanes 547)
What would change (laugh)… playground for children! Areas for doing sports. Leisure spaces. Hiking routes, (the walks) they are done on the side of the road. Gymnasium. (…) (On the other hand) We have it all! We have mountains. We have water. We have the river. We have (rural tourism) people who come from France, Spain, from all over the country, to hiking. (…) We have a health center, a large market, a pharmacy, a post office, schools. We live without pollution. (…) This small village has a lot to offer, but many people leave because of bureaucracy. (…) People from my generation left (the neighbourhood). When I was young, this square (central square of the neighbourhood) had always children playing and the river full of children and adults. (…) The river used to be cleaned every year. Now it’s not allowed to clean, to protect some plants, a water lily, the fish ... But now it is covered with reeds, branches of trees, and you can hardly see it. (…) We have everything and we have nothing! We have a folk group. (…) Maybe I am aware because I work at a school. (…) A kindergarten is needed (…) There are no natural pools. (…) We cannot enjoy because there are no (safety) conditions. (…) We have many foreign tourists visiting us, some sleep in their cars... there are no infrastructures” Female, 45–50, Parish Council (Redinha 557)
The neighbourhood has great offerings, personal trainer, yoga, gym, swimming pools, walking green spaces. This is great. It’s amazing! (Local government) stimulate cultural activities. We see people willing to come back. I went to the capital 10 years ago (for studying); I still go once or twice a week, I have my office there. I work in the financial area. We need to change our mindset and working from another place, outside the conventional office.” Female, 30–35, Municipality Council (Penela 487)
I wouldn’t change anything. Because what I really need is to change my lifestyle. Here (neighbourhood), there is a little bit of everything. I think it (neighbourhood) has good initiatives, culture and services. (…) We are close to everything. I would live somewhere else. Maybe. If I moved, maybe I would enjoy it, I have quit a lot work here.” Female, 20–30, Municipality Council (Penela 498)
Social relationships and networks
I would like more proximity between neighbours. I go out and I don’t see anyone! We used to have a place for socializing, but not anymore. I wish there could be a place for people being together, to meet and do activities. Nowadays, we have to get used to loneliness.” Female, 80–85, Parish Council (Alvorge 717)
We do have a health care center, a nursery house, an elderly center. Some people have reduced mobility to move, some neighbourhoods have a van to transport people to the health care center. I like to live here, (but), if I could, I would live somewhere else. I do miss being with people.” Female, 65–70, Parish Council (Zambujal 524)
There is a need for social networking or activities for socializing. (…) Another good idea would be exercising equipment installed near the river. (...) Tourism. There is grape harvesting (rural tourism) in some neighbourhoods; here it could be olive picking and harvesting. Our olive oil is really good, and many olive trees are not harvested.” Female, 50–55, Parish Council (Redinha 536)
We need a nursing home, so that our neighbours do not need to leave (...) I really like living here, people are friendly with each other. It’s spectacular! We are in grape harvest every day, now. Everyone helps each other. (pause) Some things are missing, someone to teach us those (information and communication) technologies. We have a youth association. We had a football team, but not anymore.” Female, 65–70, Parish Council (Zambujal 509)
It is a quiet neighbourhood (to live), but people are too closed. It would be nice to have a place for us to meet and socialize (pause). They (local representatives) made an infrastructure for social activities (in the village) but it’s very cold, even in the Summer. Before, there was a school, right here, but they did something else.” Female, 70–75, Parish Council (Alvorge 713)
It’s a very peaceful place. Yesterday, in the grape harvest, we were about fifty people. Neighbours, we help each other.” Female, 65–70, Parish Council (Zambujal 519)
We have olive oil, wine, chickpeas, beans, grapes, figs. We have grape harvesting. This year didn’t go so well; there is less grape production. We will have good olive oil; if everything goes well, there is a lot of olives (in the trees). We have good olive oil. (...) Tomorrow I will have many people harvesting for me. I’ve fried small sardines (“petinga”) and I made bread potato (dessert). (laughs) There is a competition for the best tasty tidbit (laughs).” Female, 55–60, Small Village (Serra de Janeanes 547)
I wouldn’t change anything. I am satisfied with everything. I used to live in big cities and here it’s better for my child. My children can walk freely on the street. Neighbours know each other and everything is fine.” Female, 45–50, Parish Council (Alvorge 784)
Health care support and services
A doctor; there used to be. A nursing home; there used to be. (…) About 200 people are living here. But a lot of people used to live here. (…) A half dozen of new couples live here, now. (...) We don’t have anything here. We don’t have a nursing home, we don’t have a supermarket, we don’t have a doctor. (…) I would move to a place with everything.” Female, 70–75, Parish Council (Zambujal 502)
Health care center (in the neighbourhood) is not working well, we need to wait 2–3 months for a medical appointment.” Male, 70–75, Parish Council (Espinhal: Santa Eufemia 572)
We have everything! It is a great neighbourhood to grow old; we have 2 nursing homes and 3 private elderly health care centers. (…) It’s very expensive.” Male, 60–65, Parish Council (Espinhal 581)
The health care center is good, except when the doctor is on vacation.” Male, 80–84, Parish Council (Alvorge 714)
I live in a small village, four kilometers (from the neighbourhood). There are three houses and seven people: four of my age, two children (mine) and one older woman (mother). I am a social worker. Ten years in the field doing work, the number of people is decreasing. During the day, my mother is the only person at the village.” Female, 45–50, Municipality Council (Penela, working place, 489)
More public transport to the city, to schools, and to all residents and their schedules. Schools have about 300 students (from different neighbourhoods). There are three buses to the city, which forces us to ride a car. I’m a music therapist and I work in more than one place.” Female, 20–25, Municipality Council (Penela 479)
Natural environment
It is a nice neighbourhood, quiet; I wouldn’t change for anything else.” Male, 80–85, Parish Council (Podentes)
I love to live here. It is a very healthy neighbourhood.” Male, 55–60, Parish Council (Espinhal)
I have a garden with everything. I take care of the garden. We eat from the garden.” Female, 65–70, Small Village (Pombalinho 610)
Up there (in the mountains) there is a small church, in days with good visibility, not today, one can see the sea. We have beautiful landscapes!” Female, 45–50, Parish Council (Redinha 557)
I am from a city near the capital and I my whole family lives there. (...) My husband is from here. I like it here, more. This landscape. This quietness. This calmness. This fresh air. This beauty (landscape). We have everything. What would we need after getting old? Nothing, just calmness. (laugh) (…) There is a lack of social activities, some goods, a shop with books for example, I really like to read.” Female, 75–80, Parish Council (Espinhal 571)
It is a very beautiful neighbourhood. It has a lot of water, I really like to live here.” Male, 80–85, Parish Council (Espinhal: Santa Eufemia 755)