Urban Fold

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.

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.

Full Story: Walk It Out: Urban Design Plays Key Role in Creating Healthy Cities

Comments

Comments

Walkability

Sometimes I think it makes planners and architects look bad when articles are published that discuss a ten year study stating that walking and designing for walking are key in creating healthy cities. Isn't this just plain common sense?

Walkability

I agree Wesley - why are we continuing to build neighbourhoods that will produce harm: both negative environmental and health harm? As a society as must do better: we need to work alot harder at making better use of our existing infrastructure and optimising integrated land use and transport planning.

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