Promoting Physical Activity through Healthy Community Design – Essay Samle

Promoting Physical Activity through Healthy Community Design – Essay Samle

Executive Summary

Community Design plays an integral part in the daily lives of the average people. By using the literatures available to the masses at large, a conglomeration of information can be compiled to show how can community design affect public health, specifically through the way in which community design encourages or discourages physical activity level particularly walking and bicycling.

In the event that simple exercises and routines are incorporated into daily schedules and activities, not unlike going to work or school, the overall well- being of the nations people is going to go up. All that is required is that the general ‘lazy’ in everyone’s routine is taken out, at least to an extent. As a result there will be a reduction in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

As will soon be demonstrated in the upcoming pages, from a wide range and variety of categories, there is all inclusive evidence to suggest that one of the best ways to successfully promote physical activity is through a healthy community design. From the government to doctors, from architects to everyday people, experience has demonstrated this to be a fact.

Introduction: Purpose & Background

The Emirates of Abu Dhabi have a high rate of chronic diseases related to life style situations; such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. “In 2009, cardiovascular diseases accounted for a quarter of death cases registered in Abu Dhabi. In the year 2008, adult nationals were screened for the enrollment in Thiqa insurance system. Results of screening showed obesity rate of 33% among males and 38% for females” (HAAD Statistics). According to the WHO, the UAE has the second highest rate of diabetes in the world.

The prolonged illnesses and disabilities associated with many chronic diseases decrease the quality of life for the affected individual to a great extent. It is well recognized by many public health researchers that physical activity plays a critical role in reducing risk factors for many chronic diseases and conditions, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis. Due to the interconnectedness of physical activity with other important variables to be considered in influencing chronic diseases, people everywhere are seeking to increase their activity in their daily lives by appealing to many different interests. Given the increasing body of evidence that suggest that sustained levels of moderate to intense physical activity can positively influence health, this paper would examine whether community design can truly impact daily exercise; specifically the propensity to walk or go biking. The question, then, is how is it that healthy community design can provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to increase their physically activity and become socially engaged as part of their daily routine.

Community design in the emirate of Abu Dhabi generally does not facilitate pedestrian and bicycle travel. It can be a challenge just to go for a stroll with streets that have been dominated by the desire to increase the smooth flow of automobile traffic. Over time this has resulted in design standards for streets the encourage driving and discourage walking and, or, biking. It has become nearly impossible for people to walk and complete errands because everyday destinations such as the workplace, schools, mosques, or even groceries are separated from the roads by acres and acres of parking lots. In many places, bike lanes and sidewalks on the routes are limited or simply do not exist.

Community designs are hypothesized to influence public health by affecting the relative convenience and viability of biking and pedestrian travel, and thus they influence the levels of physical activity. However, one’s age, genetics, culture, income and even health influence activity patterns. Public health literature have started to focus on the creation of walking and bicycling-supportive environments as a way of minimizing, or even eliminating, environmental barriers to physical activity; based on the belief that lifestyle modification programs that aim to increase daily levels of walking and bicycling through changes in the environments where people live, work and play may be more effective in changing long-term activity pattern compared to interventions focused on structured activities such as aerobic classes or running (2).

Today, there are video games promoting motion and cardio, more people can be seen hitting the gym, or simply running outside, and kids are being more encouraged to get off the couch and go join in their favorite sports. There are even television shows specifically designed to get people to lose weight. Legislation is being made to increase the likelihood of people being more inclined towards activity and some countries have even started to impose a tax in the event that citizens are over a specified weight.
While change is beginning to stir, there are specific ways to help encourage the growth of this revolution on health and sedentary lifestyles. Particularly, more and more avenues are finding that community design is a key starting point for people seeking to fix the parts of their life that are broken. As this case is growing more and more apparent, greater funds and resources are being expended to see just how far communities can take people on their journey towards health.

It is an unfortunate truth that while obesity is, naturally, the most publicized side- effect of physical inactivity, there are many other health concerns that become more and more apparent as active recreation falls farther and farther from the daily routine of millions of Americans every year. More and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, the aforementioned obesity, as well as other chronic illnesses. Additionally, as regular muscle groups fall into greater disuse, core areas weaken increasing the likelihood of back and bone industries.





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