Is your town a healthy town?
Researchers at Saint Louis University say they've identified certain characteristics that encourage both physical activity and aesthetic satisfaction in a community environment.
One of the lead researchers, Laura Brennan Ramirez, an adjunct assistant professor of community health at Saint Louis University School of Public Health, said in a news release, "We haven't really designed our communities well for older adults, particularly once they get to the point that they can't drive." And, Ramirez adds, constantly using a car "detracts from our physical, social and mental health."
Among the common factors the scientists determined were needed to maintain healthy communities were more use of hiking and biking trails and crosswalks; construction of sidewalks and mass transit to support physical activity; the use of monuments and historic attractions to encourage walking; and creation of interconnecting physical education programmes in schools and on the job.
The findings are published in the December 2006 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. – (HealthDayNews)
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