Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good health is good business

My community is 9th in the nation for obesity.  What a terrible claim to fame.  A shocking 33.2% of my neighbors are obese,  

Businesses look at factors like this when deciding where to locate.  Because obesity is clearly and strongly correlated with expensive diseases, particularly hypertension, other heart disease, some cancers (digestive-related ones in particular), and diabetes.  These are expensive for employers as well as awful and expensive for the people who suffer from these conditions. 

There is also a strong correlation between a walkable community and good health.  The more we use our cars, the less healthy we are.  

Like so other many good things, good health and good business go together.  Because healthy workers are more productive and less sick.  

Walkable communities are happier communities.  

Get out of your car, and you will not only become healthier, you will save money!  

Many people in the US don't think they have good alternatives to a car.  Certainly a car is convenient, especially in a spread-out community.  (In cities, it's easy to see the merit of ditching the car and using other ways to get around!)   It's up to city leaders to define the vision, and for city staff to define the criteria, to change this status quo.  

Require sidewalks.   Require them to be set off from the street a bit so there can be a strip of grass, or a bench, or a tree or something else to calm the street and make it more pleasant for those who are not in a car (and even for those who are)!  Require connnectiveness.   Don't block access to other areas with cul-de-sacs or long walls, without some breaks -- like a path out of the cul-de-sac and like gates  or breaks in walls. 

Cities shold be designed for people, not cars.  Not that cars don't have a role in our lives.  But this role must be smaller, for the sake of our health, our economy, and our planet.

Good health is good business.   Help people get out of their cars.  

Peace, y'all


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