Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Residential Environments and Physical Activity

Residential environments and physical activity

The impact on physical activity and obesity
In the physical activity and public health research arena, the interest in the immediate housing and residential neighbourhood environment (e.g. crime rates, road safety, street connectivity, footpaths and cycle ways, design and maintenance of neighbourhood, visibility of stairs, central shopping facilities, availability of physical recreation facilities) is relatively new. However, evidence shows that residents living in high-walkability neighbourhoods are more likely to engage in regular moderate physical activity than residents located in a low-walkability neighbourhood. Moreover, studies underline that an unsafe and unpleasant residential area may deter people from walking around their local neighbourhood and engaging in leisure-time exercise. For this reason physical activity, and per consequence, obesity prevalence rates at the population level may not improve until neighbourhoods are made more walkable and usable for leisure-time physical activities.

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