Monday, February 29, 2016

Where you live may determine your health level

Trees? You big luckies!
I live in the Sonoran Desert outside Phoenix. It's HOT 6 months of the year. Everyone rides in cars, with public transport not even a close second. When I could walk better, I would walk an hour a day, sometimes along busy thoroughfares with cars whipping by and sometimes no sidewalks.

They studied this location thing at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, where I visualize people biking along canals and gazing down from quaint bridges.

Lead researcher Jeroen Lakerveld says the best communities promote healthy food sources and encourage socializing and networking, not to mention opportunities to move and exercise.

This study, published in Obesity Reviews, links Body Mass Index to location. It covered more than 6,000 people across Europe.

People tended to see socioeconomically deprived areas as not as conducive to health behaviors. Well, duh. If you think you are going to get jumped or shot, you may not spend as much time outdoors. If the only food is greasy fast food or overpriced stuff from bodegas, who knows what you will eat.

They had people define their neighborhood--older people outlined a smaller place, as a rule. Men with high edcuational levels thought of their "world" as larger.

We don't have a car, so my neighborhood is walking distance...We have two food stores, a Walmart, some chain restaurants, and assorted businesses we can get to, thank goodness.

How's your neighborhood? Even though Los Angeles, for instance, well appointed, I hear nobody walks.


Anna Maria said...

Interesting. It doesn't surprise me to find that economically deprived neighborhoods do not find healthy foods and exercise a necessity. I suppose just getting by day to day is their priority. We have a very high incidence of diabetes and obesity in our city and a large population of those in the lower income group, but it has been noticed and services are being provided to educate those in need of a healthier lifestyle. I live in a gated community it is very safe to walk in and I seem to do it in spurts. If I have an event coming up I want to look better at I start eating better and exercising more...and then I slide until the next upcoming "need to look better event." I don't think that's a new habit. :)

Star Lawrence said...

I had a doctor in DC who told me to walk an hour a day. Not any distance, not any destination--an hour a day. I could not think of a good reason not to, so I did, for many years. This was downtown DC, and I lived a block from the Zoo and could sneak in before opening hours and walk there--became friends with some animals and loved the flowers and little ponds, etc. It was bliss. I never lost weight, but I guess I did not gain either. Now, I am laid up with arthritis and can barely walk and I miss my Zoo.