Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Walk, Don't Drive! Community Promotion Of Physical Activity Has Two-Fold Benefit

“About half of the car trips in the U.S. are less than five miles - a distance easily navigated by walking or cycling. Reducing short-distance car trips has many benefits - it decreases car accidents, has positive benefits for the environment and increases physical health and activity, says communication professor Edward Maibach of George Mason University. An expert in climate change communication research, Maibach says that community leaders should make promotion of physical activity a priority. ‘There are lots of proven low-cost options that communities can use to encourage people to get out of their cars and walk or ride instead,’ he says. ‘Use of these options helps people remain healthy (by promoting physical activity and reducing obesity) and helps reduce heat-trapping pollutants that cause global warming.’ In a recent article in the journal Preventative Medicine, Maibach suggests that policy makers and government officials at all levels should look at communication, marketing and policy enhancements that can be implemented with relative ease to promote active transport.


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