Movement Friendly Cities: Being Active on the Go !
Humans are designed to move; and move we must to be Fit & Active. Our bodies have evolved to meet the evolving demands of human existence. And yet, research shows us that, as economies develop, our levels of physical activity have reduced to dangerous lows. Physical inactivity is a looming and dangerous threat to everyone’s health, well-being and quality of life. This should be a part of our daily existence and not be seen as a leisure activity.
Diseases linked to a lack of physical activity include coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and different cancers, which cause an estimated 500,000 deaths each year in Europe alone. 25% of adult deaths in India are attributed to heart diseases. As per an independent study, the extra costs of Medicare, estimated at €80.4 billion annually, could be avoided altogether if all Europeans exercised for 20 minutes per day on average.To make its citizens active, a conscious decision has to be taken by the governments or local authorities to make basic and affordable amenities available to the masses. The benefits of having a city designed to move are tremendous and not an expensive proposition as one would imagine. It will eventually benefit economically, socially,safety wise and health wise.
A Few ways to keep a city moving:
- OPEN UP SCHOOL RUNNING TRACKS AND FIELDS TO THE PUBLIC: With urbanization everyone doesn’t have access to public grounds. Let’s try and get schools to keep their courts and grounds open for public during non- school hours.
- TURN THE LIGHTS ON AND KEEP PARKS AND SPORT SPACES OPEN LATE: Corporate life doesn’t allow to run, exercise or move at favourable hours. Keep your local parks bright & lit even at nights to keep them safe.
- WALK OR BIKE TO WORK, TAKE THE STAIRS:
City leaders can encourage citizens to be active. Take efforts to ensure walking or biking is promoted. Widen your pathways to walk and cycle. Many cities offer information about walking, running and cycling routes on their websites. Public access to bikes on rent by subscription or by the day or our can boost active transport opportunities for all.
- KEEP STAIRS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS TO BE OPEN FOR PUBLIC USE: Stairs can be more than a fire escape. They’re a great, healthy way to get from one floor to another, but many buildings don’t require them to be opened up for daily use. Studies show that consistent stair use can be linked to a 12-20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality, including cardiovascular diseases.
- EASY STREET-CLOSING PERMITS FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAY EVENTS : Active cities are often fun cities and street-play events are one more way to make physical activity enjoyable. For example, Bristol (UK) has a system in place to allow ordinary citizens to apply for a “Temporary Play Street Order” that closes streets to play on a one-time or regular basis. Families love the option and it’s helped to strengthen the city’s reputation as a playable city.
ALSO READ : Physically Active Lifestyle in the City
- MOTOR-FREE STREET: Open the streets to non-motorized transport exclusively. These streets can be heavy traffic zones where everyone is encouraged to cycle or take a walk to reach their destination.
- FITNESS IN PUBLIC PARKS & DEVELOPING POCKET PARKS:Providing public spaces to work out can be inexpensive, fun and accessible to all. These can be state run training where access to facilities can be for free. Small,unused pieces of land in urban areas can make ideal recreational spaces in urban environments.
Content courtesy designedtomove[dot]org