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There's a link between your neighbourhood's walkability and your health

(iStock Photo)
Summary

Research suggests people who live in more walkable areas are much less likely to be overweight

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – That frosty weather may have some of you reaching for your car keys rather than face a chilly stroll to work or even the closest transit stop.

But braving the brisk temperatures and walking where you need to go could come with some big benefits. New research being presented today finds your neighbourhood’s walkability has a lot to do with your health.

That research comes from data collected by the MyHealth MyCommunity Project between 2013 and 2014. It says if you live in one of Metro Vancouver’s most walkable neighbourhoods like the West End, you’re up to a third less likely to be overweight, obese, or suffer from diseases related to either.

The information is being presented at the World Diabetes Congress, which runs all week at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

It ranks areas on a zero to 100 score based on how much they lend themselves to non-car commuting, giving high marks for close proximity to parks, schools, and other amenities.

Those in walkable neighbourhoods are in better health, while those who have to drive are more at risk of obesity.

Around 70 per cent of amenities are within walkable distance for the majority of people living in Metro Vancouver.

The Diabetes Congress is presenting the case that walkable areas have a direct link to a risk of diseases like cancer and diabetes.