-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who live in
walkable neighborhoods are more involved in their communities, more
trusting and have a higher quality of life, a new study
A walkable community means people have an easy stroll to such
destinations as parks and playgrounds, club meetings, and services
such as a post office, barbershop, coffee shops and restaurants,
explained study author Shannon Rogers and colleagues, from the
University of New Hampshire.
They interviewed 700 residents in 20 neighborhoods in two New
Hampshire cities about the number of locations they could reach by
foot in their community, their trust in the local community,
participation in community activities and socializing with friends,
all of which comprise what is called "social capital."
The researchers found that walkable neighborhoods scored higher
on every measure of social capital than less walkable
neighborhoods. People who lived in walkable neighborhoods were also
more likely to report being in good health and happy more often
than those in less walkable neighborhoods.
"Walkability has been linked to quality of life in other studies. Walkability may also enhance social capital by providing the means and locations for individuals to connect, share information and interact with those that they might not otherwise meet," the researchers noted.
"The links we found between walkability and measures of social capital in this study provide further evidence for the consideration of social capital as a key component of quality of life," they concluded.
The study appears online in the journal
Applied Research in Quality of Life.
The American Podiatric Medical Association outlines the
benefits of walking.
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