Manage episode 256975611 series 1556353
Med student turned public health detective, Dr. Karen K. Lee chronicles her decades-long professional journey in her recent book, Fit Cities: My Quest to Improve the World's Health and Wellness—Including Yours. As a built environment advisor, she helps gather data about how we eat, build, and move. Typical assessments include walkability, availability of healthy food sources, lunch menus, physical education curricula, work-site amenities, and building design. From her work, she has developed "Active Design" principles to build environments that promote a healthy lifestyle.
IDEAS FOR CREATING FIT CITIES
- Offer multiple transportation options that include opportunities to walk.
- Post signs to encourage more stair-climbing.
- Dance with your children.
- Limit sugary drinks, including juices.
- Eliminate food deserts; make healthy food accessible and affordable.
- Pedestrianize congested spaces.
- Plan open-street events (e.g., “Summer Streets” in NYC).
- Help citizen voices for “Fit Cities” be heard.
- Offer exercise equipment for parents as they watch their children play sports.
- Incentivize street vendors to offer healthy food options.
- Organize “Fit City” conferences to build cross-discipline relationships.
QUOTES FROM LEE
- “If our cities and towns become fit and healthy, we will find it easier to become fit and healthy too.”
- “Physical activity experts suggest that, if the average adult was to climb [stairs] just an extra two minutes per day, we could offset the average weight gains that most of us are experiencing in an average year.”
- “We must recognize that we are not alone in the battle to stay fit and healthy, and that solving the problem will require a concerted, cooperative effort across many disciplines.”
- “Disasters…illustrate for us just how important it is that our homes, schools, workplaces, and grocery stores be at walkable distances from each other.”
- “In a disaster, people walk. They walk because they have to. Cars are often ordered off the roads and public transportation often has to shut down, even if temporarily.”
- Take a look at the bright, lime-green sign used to entice New Yorkers to “Take the Stairs!”
- Check out the list of “The Ten Fittest Cities in the U.S.” from U.S. News & World Report.
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