Research by Wali and teammates confirms that walkability boosts health. They share that they examined “high resolution data for 476 participants in the Rails and Health study on health care costs, mode specific MVPA[ moderate-to-vigorous physical activity], parcel-level built environment, and neighborhood perception surveys. . . . A 1% increase in bike, walk, and transit-related MVPA was associated with lower health care costs by −0.28%, −0.09%, and −0.27% respectively. A one-unit increase in neighborhood walkability index correlates with a 6.48% reduction in health care costs. . . .
Increase Physical Activity
Asano and colleagues learned that walking in hot outdoor environments can harm subsequent cognitive performance indoors; this finding supports creating more temperature controlled indoor walking areas in office complexes and similar locations. The research team reports that “In the experiments [conducted], a total of 96 participants took a mathematical addition test in an air-conditioned room before and after walking in an actual outdoor environment.
Hunter and colleagues studied how neighborhood design influences resident actions. They report that “Parents . . . with preschoolers . . . living in Edmonton, Canada were recruited from each of Edmonton’s council wards. Parents reported demographic information and the importance of several neighborhood features (destinations, design, social, safety, esthetics) for their child’s active play, their own active recreation, and their coactivity. . . . The majority of parents reported that 23 of the 32 neighborhood features were perceived as being relevant for all activity domains.
What sorts of design features encourage people to go outdoors and walk around their neighborhoods, towns and cities? Neuroscience research supplies answers to that question while also making it clear that walking can help us think more clearly, creatively, and productively, all as we burn calories.
Being active indoors is as good for our minds as it is for our waistlines. It can help us think more clearly, creatively, and productively, for example, all while we burn calories. Neuroscientists have determined how design can spur people to be physically active inside.
Baobeid and teammates built on earlier research to investigate what makes an area walkable.
Key effects of light intensity
Music, exercise, and thinking hard
Recently released research confirms the value of design that encourages movement.