News from ISGlobal
How to design cities that encourage physical activity among the citizens? Coinciding with the European Mobility Week, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), has published a study describing the urban characteristics that encourage people to choose walking for travel, instead of a motorized vehicle, with the benefits this entails: more physical activity and less air pollution, which result in improved health.
Lack of physical activity is among the 10 leading risk factors for mortality, worldwide. The World Health Organisaton (WHO) recommends adults to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity –which includes walking– or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week.
The study, published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, forms part of the PASTA (Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches) project and was performed with data from 7,875 adults from seven European cities: Antwerp (Belgium), Barcelona (Spain), London (United Kingdom), Örebro (Sweden), Rome (Italy), Vienna (Austria) and Zurich (Switzerland).
“Although walking is an easy and healthy way of achieving the recommended levels of physical activity, the growing use of motorised vehicles has contributed to decreasing levels of physical activity in the general population, and has generated health additional problems related with traffic, such as air pollution and noise”, explains Mireia Gascon, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study.
Mireia Gascon, et.al. Correlates of walking for travel in seven European cities: the PASTA project. Environmental Health Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP4603. September 2019.