Walkability and Health (03-02-22)

Howell and Booth link neighborhood walkability and the presence of outdoor amenities to better health and fewer cases of diabetes among residents.  The duo report that “researchers and policymakers alike have been searching for effective means to promote healthy lifestyles at a population level. . . . there has been a proliferation of research examining how the ‘built’ environment in which we live influences physical activity levels, by promoting active forms of transportation, such as walking and cycling, over passive ones, such as car use. Shifting the transportation choices of local residents may mean that more members of the population can participate in physical activity during their daily routine without structured exercise programs.”  The researchers determined that people living in walkable neighborhoods who had access to parks and other options for outdoor activities were both more active and also less likely to be diabetic or obese.

Nicholas Howell and Gillian Booth.  “The Weight of Place:  Built Environment Correlates of Obesity and Diabetes.”  Endocrine Reviews, in press, https://doi.org/10.1210/endrev/bnac005