The September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says the average man weighed 10 pounds less if he lived in older, more walkable neighborhoods while women weighed about six pounds less.
Modern neighborhoods, on the other hand, generally consist of large areas with nothing but housing, an arrangement that hinders walking and forces people to drive more to get around.
How much walking do you do in your neighborhood? Is it newer? Older? Does what researchers say mirror your experiences?
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My neighbornood is an older, established, "upper exec" semi-rural environment, where we used to be surrounded by a working cattle ranch. The streets are very wide with no sidewalks, and the paths in the medians were paved only about 5 years ago. Stroller walking, or running, is done out in the street, or for stretches of pathway. We do have a couple of nice parks (one's really the effluent control with a playscape), and some friendly neighbors (emphasis on "some").
I can understand some neighborhoods being less walking friendly, or stroller friendly, where people are more likely to stay indoors, and that's unfortunate. On the other hand, it seems more urban renewal projects are aimed at getting people out and socializing with each other, whether in communal gardens or some other community interaction. This is a good thing and encouraging that we'll eventually become less a sedentary nation.
My kids used to push around their strollers, too - too funny!July 29, 2008 - 4:39pm
I have the opposite experience from what the researchers found.
Some of the older neighborhoods I live near are actually less walkable, because they do not have sidewalks and are overgrown with vines. We moved into a newer neighborhood for the reason that it IS walkable (before we bought the house, we drove to this neighborhood 4-5 times to go for walks in the evening or weekends). Our newer neighborhood has a great playground and park, shaded with many large trees, and we can walk many miles along sidewalks, down to the park, or even to a frozen yogurt shop about 3 miles away.
In fact, one of my favorite activities to do with my toddler is to go on a "stroller walk" around the neighborhood (he actually "pushes' the stroller part way), which creates some funny looks, and great conversation with the neighbors!July 29, 2008 - 12:25pm