Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Active transportation and public health

Should be no suprise that cycling and walking for transportation has a positive benefit on individual and community health.  People who walk or bicycle have reduced rates of obesity and a host of other health issues that are increasingly prevalent in our overly sedentary populations.

Victoria, with the highest rates of cycling and walking in Canada, is, not coincidentally, a top tier city for public health - lowest rates of obesity, low prevalaence of heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes etc.

While investments are often the responsibility of local governments, the benefits accrue to the province and federal governments who fund most of our health care services.  With obesity and other impacts of sedentary lifestyles equalling tobacco use as a threat to individual and community health, and a cost burden on our health care system, the value of investments in promoting active transportation are gold.  Those investments earn a high rate of return.

The CBC story linked to this piece focuses on the obesity epidemic, but there are a variety of other health issues related to transportation choices people make every day and the return on investment in infrastructure that supports active transportation is well documented elsewhere.

Prevention is always good medicine, so grab a pair of running shoes or get on your bike.  It's a life sustaining choice.  Listen to your doctor:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/luton/466280003/

No comments:

Post a Comment