10-Year Study Confirms Public Health Benefits of Walkability

A newly published University of Melbourne study ten years in the making reveals that increased access to shops, parks, and other amenities increased walking and overall health.
March 10, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The study, which was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, "found that the overall health of residents of new housing developments in Western Australia, improved when their daily walking increased as a result of more access to parks, public transport, shops and services."

"The study found that for every local shop, residents' physical activity increased an extra 5-6 minutes of walking per week. For every recreational facility available such as a park or beach, residents' physical activity increased by an extra 21 minutes per week."

"Lead researcher Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne said the study provided long-term evidence that residents' walking increased with greater availability and diversity of local transport and recreational destinations."

"The study demonstrates the potential of local infrastructure to support health-enhancing behaviours," she said.

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Published on Thursday, March 7, 2013 in Science Daily
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