Increase Physical Activity

More on Workplace Pedaling (08-14-15)

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].

Neighborhood Amenities and Walking (08-13-15)

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.”

Designing for Active Older Lives (08-10-15)

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.

Courthouse Design Case Study (07-17-15)

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.

Promoting Use of Parks (07-10-15)

Lapham and her team investigated how conditions in parks influence their use.  The objective of their study “was to determine the relative importance of individual- and park-related characteristics in influencing both local park use and specific engagement in active sports, walking and sedentary pursuits.”  After surveying nearly 4,000 adults living within .8 of a kilometer of a park in four metropolitan areas in the United States, they found that “Survey participants who perceived the parks as safe (88%) had 4.6 times the odds . . . of reporting having visited the study park. . . .

Streetscaping for Activity (07-09-15)

Ewing and his colleagues contribute to the body of knowledge linking neighborhood design and walkability.  They report that on-street pedestrian activity is significantly linked to “A composite variable comprised of windows overlooking the street, continuous building facades forming a street wall, active street frontage, proportion of historic buildings, number of buildings with identifiers, and number of pieces of street furniture.”


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