-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
THURSDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Although busy
intersections and well-connected streets are convenient for active
adults, they may discourage children from playing outside, a new
Canadian researchers report that living in areas with busy
through streets may take a toll on the amount of exercise children
"We've known for a while that high street connectivity -- well-connected streets and a high density of intersections in a given area -- helps adults stay physically active since it makes it easier and more efficient for them to walk to work or a local store," lead researcher Graham Mecredy, a graduate student in the Queens University Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, said in a news release. "However, our findings suggest that high street connectivity has the opposite effect on children's physical activity."
After analyzing a survey of school-aged children, researchers
found that kids aged 11 to 16 who lived in neighborhoods with
well-connected streets were less physically active than those who
live around poorly connected streets or dead ends.
"Playing street hockey is an example of how street connectivity and density can influence the physical activity of youth," explained Mecredy. "When traffic increases, or when you don't have access to a quiet cul-de-sac, the game and the associated physical activity may both disappear."
In a separate study, the researchers noted that since areas with
poorly connected streets promote more outdoor play, they are also
linked to an increase in minor biking injuries. They added that
measures to promote safe bike riding in the street could help
reduce the number of these incidents.
The researchers concluded the findings should be used to improve
the level of physical activity among children.
The findings were published recently in the
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public
Health and Injury Prevention.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information
children and exercise.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.