An interesting study shows that people living in areas where the architectural and socio-structural characteristics of the area itself make it generally more difficult to walk than people living in areas with more “viable” characteristics demonstrate a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than those living in them.
Research conducted by researchers at St. Michael’s University Hospital in Toronto, published in the journal of the American Heart Association, is the first of its kind and shows that those people who live in areas where walking is more difficult are up to 33% more likely to get cardiovascular disease in 10 years than others.
The same results showed that people in less “pedestrian” areas have higher blood pressure, a higher probability of being diagnosed with diabetes, and a higher chance of smoking. Researchers used data from more than 45,000 people aged 40 to 74 living in 15 urban centres in Ontario, Canada.
This study shows that all of these attempts to make neighborhoods more “pedestrian” are very important and significant in order to make a significant difference in overall health statistics, as suggested by Nicholas Howell, researcher at the Lee Ka Shing Institute of Knowledge at St. Michael’s University and the first author of the study.
Another leading author of the study, Gillian Booth, a scientist at the MAP St. Michael’s Center for Urban Health, says that the same study shows that the likelihood of a subject’s cardiovascular disease risk can be predicted based on the practicality of the region in which he or she lives, and that this study should be an incentive for all people who live in an unstructured area to take walks to find new methods of physical activity.
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