What and when
Increase Physical Activity
Trying to incorporate opportunities into a space to move slightly while seated seems like a good idea. Researchers have learned via studying data collected over many years that “Fidgeting may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality associated with excessive sitting time.”
Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Alan Gow, Victoria Burley, Darren Greenwood, and Janet Cade. “Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, in press.
More bad news for people who sit for much of the day. Research indicates that they have a significantly greater likelihood of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In the Ryu, etc., investigation, the group of study participants with the longest sitting times sat for more than 10 hours a day, on average.
Seunglo Ryu, Yoosoo Chang, Hyun-Suk Jung, and 10 others. “Relationship of Sitting Time and Physical Activity with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” Journal of Hepatology, in press.
Sneaker worthy routes
Factors other than design influence perceived w
Designing to encourage bicycle riding is in man
Carr and his team link at-desk pedaling to big payoffs. They provided a small, relatively inexpensive device to participants in their study that allows people to move their legs in a pedaling sort of motion while sitting in their desk chair, using their computer, and working in their “usual” way—all without hitting their knees on the underside of their work surface. Adding this “pedaler” to a conventional workspace creates an “activity permissive workstation.” When such a setup was supplied, study participants used “the activity permissive workstations 50 minutes/work day [on average].
Menec and her team researched neighborhood amenities and walking. The team reports that it learned via interviews that “A large proportion of participants [age 45 to 94] did not think it was very important to have amenities [e.g., food store, park] within walking distance, and the majority of participants drove to get [to the store, etc.], even . . . individuals who reported it was very important to have the amenities within walking distance. . . . The study underscores the impact of a car culture where the tendency to drive is paramount.”
Ahrentzen and Tural reviewed completed studies of how home design influences the activity levels of older individuals. Their “review focuses on six built environment characteristics: (1) barriers, supports and features that ‘fit'; (2) spatial organization and layout; (3) environmental cues; (4) ambient qualities; (5) assistive technologies; and (6) gardens and outdoor spaces.” They learned that “Pathway and corridor design, and environmental cues that convey an instrumental [direct] function of a space . . . facilitated active living.
On its website (address below) the Center for Active Design shares a case study focused on the active design components of the Superior Court of California, San Benito County in Hollister, CA. The first paragraph of the case study provides an effective overview of the project: “The Superior Court of California, San Benito County is a new civic building in Hollister, California that provides the community with three courtrooms and a public plaza.