Friday, August 05, 2011

One possible cause of rural obesity: lack of sidewalks

People living in neighborhoods with sidewalks get approximately 35 to 49 more minutes of physical activity per week than those with sidewalks, a 2009 study found, and "An emerging public health perspective links the ability of residents to easily walk or bike to a person's risk of becoming obese," The Tampa Tribune's Daniela Velasquez reports. "The streets in rural areas often don't have sidewalks or places where people can walk, jog or ride their bikes." (Photo by Joan Ginsberg)

The study's author, San Diego State University psychology professor James Sallis, told Velazquez, "In the U.S., probably half the population lives in neighborhoods where it is not feasible to walk for transportation, thus putting them at risk for many diseases." The design of neighborhoods "influences people's walking, bicycling and jogging habits, according to a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study published in December," and a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control found "children who walk or bicycle to school have better cardiovascular fitness than children who do not actively commute to school," Velazquez writes.

1 comment:

arlenearmy said...

I believe this to be true. When I lived in the city, I was slimmer. It is difficult to walk around in the country because of the terrain & landscape. Most time when 1 has to get around on large property is by 4 wheeler or tractor or pickup.

The hill is too steep to walk down to mailbox. So I usually ride done there on riding lawn mower.

Now that this article mentions sidewalks, I may have to invest in getting smoother / flatter surface put in.