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Increase Physical Activity

Seniors to the Suburbs (10-31-14)

Researchers at Concordia University have found that people over 65 are moving to homes in the suburbs.  This has significant repercussions for the design of not only residences but also the neighborhoods in which they’re located.  As a press release related to the Concordia study reports, “By 2040, there will be more than three times the number of Americans aged 80+ than there were in 2000. Condo towers crowding city skylines seem to reflect builders’ hopes that the grey set will head to urban centres for increased services and better transit options.

Kid Friendly Neighborhoods (10-29-14)

Islam, Moore, and Cosco investigated the relationship between neighborhood design and the amount of time children spent outdoors in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  They found that “additional minutes of children’s average time outdoors on weekdays are associated with availability of adjacent space (23 min), . . .

Standing Up in Class (09-30-14)

Benden and his colleagues investigated how providing students with stand-biased desks (taller desks equipped with footrests for one foot while students stand and tall-ish stools) instead of conventional school desks influenced experiences at school. Students with the stand-biased desk were free to sit or stand, as they wished. The researchers learned that “activity-permissive classrooms do not cause harm to [elementary-school age] students; result in increased energy expenditure that may combat obesity among those in the highest risk categories; and improve behavioral engagement. . . .

Youth Obesity and Access to Nature in Different Forms (09-17-14)

Researchers have learned that youth are more likely to exercise in certain sorts of outdoor environments than others.  Stanis, Oftedal, and Schneider found via a study that was published in Preventative Medicine that “cities with more nature trails have higher levels of youth activity and lower youth obesity. . . . increased access to non-motorized nature trails is associated with increased youth physical activity and lower levels of youth obesity, while increased access to nature preserves was associated with lower levels of physical activity.

Designing Physical Activity Into Schoolyards (09-09-14)

Research conducted in Finland supports the design of school playgrounds that encourage active living.  A Finnish team learned that “higher levels of physical activity are related to better academic achievement during the first three school years particularly in boys. . . . Higher levels of physical activity at recess were related to better reading skills and participation in organized sports was linked to higher arithmetic test scores.”