Take Advantage of Walkable Neigborhoods, Improving Your Health Isn't an Instant Process

Nov 27, 2015 06:41 PM EST | By Pao Uychiat

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Everything in the modern world is now easy. With just one click of a button we can plan and organize a trip, buy clothes and many more. This may make our lives easier but there is one downside to this easy breezy life.

An article in McGill said that in Canada specifically, people who live in busy areas near establishments, stores, banks and other stores that are close by don't have a lot of chances to walk.

A new research published in BMJ's current issue said that most Canadian's who live in densely-populated areas have less physical activity. This research was done by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). This analysis is a unique combination of how much physical activity one has along with the area they live in based in the kind of neighborhood.

Study senior author, Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta said that there are a lot of walkable neighborhoods and towns in Canada. This place needs to be utilized in order to lower the risk of developing chronic diseases and its complications. She added that it's like a treadmill that in order to get results, it needs to be used regularly.

3,000 Canadian Adults were asked by the Canada Health Measures Survey in 15 places across the country. The participants were asked questions like their daily walking routing and they were asked to wear accelerometers that can count the number of steps they do every day.  The team used longitude and latitude information combined with digital map calculators in order to see if the participants' neighborhood is indeed walkable.

Study first author, Samantha Hajna, who is a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health said that counting the daily step include 2 things: utilitarian and recreational walking. This is a good sign of total physical activity. The study shows that although the participants living in more walkable neighborhoods report more utilitarian walking and they are not more active as compared to participants who live in less walkable neighbourhoods. There was a recorded 10,000 steps every day.

Dr. Dasgupta added that the walkability of the environment is in fact an extra opportunity for adding more activities every day. She said that when you are able to live in walkable neighborhoods, you should take advantage of it because it helps make our body healthy.

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