Study Touts the Public Health Benefits of Dense, Urban Living

A study of British cities find people living in dense urban cores are less likely to struggle with obesity and more likely to exercise—signs of higher quality of life—than their counterparts in suburban environments.
October 6, 2017, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Gary J. Wood

Reuters reports the findings of a study that finds a lower levels of obesity and higher levels of exercise in dense cities when compared to less dense suburban areas.

The study, by researchers at Oxford University and the University of Hong Kong (UHK), analyzed data from some 400,000 residents living in 22 British cities. "The study showed that areas of suburban sprawl with about 18 homes per hectare – such as poorly designed neighbourhoods near motorways, where driving is the only option – had the greatest rates of obesity and lowest rates of exercise," according to the article. Less dense, wealthier suburbs had better results, but they still "lagged behind the most densely populated areas in inner cities."

The study's authors present the findings in the hopes that civic boosters and policy makers will recognize the public health benefits of dense, urban living.

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Published on Thursday, October 5, 2017 in Reuters via The Guardian
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