Study says city dwellers get more exercise

People who live in cities are healthier, say researchers from San Diego State University. Why? Some of the conclusions:

– Cities offer easier, more convenient access to sidewalks where people naturally walk or jog, especially for exercise of at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity five days a week.
– People in cities often walk to stores or transportation stops (ie amenities).
– City residents have more access to low-cost recreation opportunities (ie amenities).
– They ride bicycles to nearby destinations (ie amenities).

Based on 11,541 survey participants in 11 countries, the study’s lead author James Sallis, Ph.D., stated, “We found that amenities were strongly related to exercise levels, even in this group of culturally very diverse countries.” In neighborhoods with one activity, residents had a 15-50% higher chance of getting enough exercise, and that rate rose to 100% where all six of the amenity categories were met.

The full study will be available in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

More evidence that easy and convenient is the key to positive behavior change.

Photo of a ‘destination’ and a pleasant walk to it… Le Consulat, Montmartre, Paris by Michael J. Hamilton Photography.