When people think about walking, they usually just think about how it can improve physical health—but research shows that taking a stroll also enhances our mental performance, and has other surprising benefits.
Increase Physical Activity
Nathan, Wood, and Giles-Corti share information collected in focus groups with people living in retirement villages related to older individuals and walking.
Neighborhood and urban design that encourages walking is frequently researched.
Nathan, Wood, and Giles-Corti move knowledge on designing for exercise forward.
People interested in urban design will find Speck’s book useful, even if they do not generally focus on designing to enhance the health of the public or the planet.
Researchers have investigated the design of environments that promote children’s health, from pediatric hospitals to neighborhood streets to play areas.
More research supports the connection between the physical environment and neighborhood social relations, and adds to our understanding about specific features that draw both old and young outdoors.
Hekler and his colleagues investigated “if key within-person factors (i.e., implementation intentions, social support, affect and self-efficacy) would be associated with walking and if perceived access to supportive environments (e.g., access to nice walking paths) and perceived environmental barriers (e.g., bad weather and safety issues) were uniquely associated with walking.”
Beenackers and colleagues analyzed the behavior of relocating adults to identify factors in their new environments linked to bicycling.
Childhood obesity is a significant public health issue in many communities.