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.