Article: Neighborhoods Influence Exercise

Introduction

When you think about health, you may think of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies - places to get medical care.  But what about the place you live - your neighborhood?

 

Research shows neighborhoods can have a profound effect on residents' health.  For example, it is easier to get exercise if you live next to a park than if you live on a major thoroughfare, and it is easier to eat healthy foods if stores nearby sell them.  Well-designed, liveable neighborhoods prevent diseases and injuries by helping us lead healthier lifestyles.

 

This website has many ideas, big and small, for making our neighborhoods healthier here in Sarasota County.  Look around, find out how to make change, and share your story.

 

 


Healthy neighborhoods have...

 

Lighting and “neighborhood visibility”

Discourage crime and violence. Crime can be prevented with street lighting, especially at bus stops, and building features like porches and street-level windows that make it easier for residents to watch outdoor areas.

 

Parks & playgrounds

Are places where children and adults can exercise and where neighbors can talk to each other and solve common problems.

 

Safer street designs

Encourage walking and help prevent injuries. Wide sidewalks keep pedestrians away from car traffic. Well-marked crosswalks let drivers know that pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections.

 

Bicycle lanes

Provide a safer way for people to travel that gives them the benefit of exercise and does not cause air pollution.

 

Intergenerational Activities

Connect generations, thus creating a strong sense of community and an appreciation for the contributions and needs of all age groups.

 

Community Health Services

make it easier for people to receive medical and wellness services.

 

Public transportation

Gets people out of cars, which increases their physical activity.  Fewer cars means reduced air pollution - and reduced asthma. Traffic and congestion are also reduced.

 

Healthier corner stores

Help people adopt healthier habits by selling fruits and vegetables.  When small stores are near houses, people can get exercise by walking to shop.