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|2009-04-20 - Weird News|
Linda Young - AHN Editor
Study Finds Sidewalk Is Best Exercise Equipment For Residents
San Diego, CA (AHN) -- It turns out that the best exercise equipment a person can have is access to a city sidewalk.
Researchers say that people who live in cities are able to walk or jog on them and that increases those people's chance of getting enough exercise to help them stay healthy.
Their criteria for sufficient exercise was if individuals reported at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity at least five days a week.
Researchers found that people living in city neighborhoods often walk to stores or transportation stops, have access to low-cost recreation opportunities or ride bicycles to nearby destinations, making them twice as likely to get enough exercise than people who don't have access to such things.
Looking at data from 11,541 survey participants in 11 countries, which included the United States Lithuania, Brazil, Sweden and Japan, researchers from San Diego State University found a strong correlation between sidewalks and exercise.
"Our study had a great deal of variation in neighborhoods," lead author James Sallis, Ph.D., a professor at the San Diego State University, said in a statement. "We found that amenities were strongly related to exercise levels, even in this group of culturally very diverse countries."
When Sallis compared neighborhoods that had activity-friendly amenities to those that didn't, he found that people who lived in neighborhoods with options for activities had a better higher chance of getting enough exercise.
Sallis found that in neighborhoods with one activity, residents had a 15 percent to 50 percent higher chance of getting enough exercise and that rate continued to rise to 100 percent for people living in neighborhoods where all six amenities were present.
Results of the study will be published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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