Published on : Jun 17, 2014
Researchers say that the place where a person lives has a huge role in affecting the person’s health. Also, steps such as designing all or parts of a city in a way that city dwellers are required to walk more can help the city’s population in naturally keeping health issues such as obesity and diabetes at bay.
In a recent study, evidences were found suggesting the direct benefits of living in a neighborhood that encourages more physical activity (by virtue of close location and “walkable” distance of markets or other important destinations, for instance) in reducing obesity and diabetes.
For the research, neighborhoods in South Ontario were examined over a period of 10 years. In the study, it was found that obesity and overweight rates dropped by 9% in areas that allowed more walking and the rates increased by 13% in areas that allowed less walking. The rate of diabetes was found to be less than 7% in areas with more walkable neighborhood.
It is estimated that more than one-third of the US population is either obese or overweight. Overweight individuals are prone to have a host of medical issues such as high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
This connection between the physical makeup of a city and public health sure has many benefits for the future and the study is already attracting huge attention from local as well as national bodies. This is because if the decisions regarding the built environment of a city can affect human health, it would mean huge financial relief to the population.