The American Journal of Preventative Medicine recently released a study linking the walkability of a neighborhood to its residents’ weight and risk of obesity. The study found that if twice the number of people in a neighborhood walk to work, each individual’s risk of obesity decreases by 10%. The logic is that if all of your neighbors are walking to work, you would be more likely as the walking environment would be more pleasant. This correlates to a study by the Stanford Prevention Research Center showing that 67% of people who were trying to be more active, and who lived in a neighborhood that was easy to walk in, attained the national exercise recommendations for their age group.
The AJPM study also linked the age of housing to the resident’s risk of obesity. Neighborhoods that were built before the 1950s were designed for people to walk places. Newer neighborhoods, especially in suburban areas, generally are not conducive to walking to run errands, go to school, go work work, etc. In fact, for each decade of the average age of your neighborhood housing, the risk of obesity decreases–for women, 8% and for men 13%.
Want to walk more? Check out this site to find the most walkable neighborhoods in your area.