We are all walking faster and it is taking its toll on our health according to new research from the British Council. With this in mind, should we still be encouraging people to walk rather than drive short distances?
The number of trips made on foot has declined by 16%, since 1995/97 (DfT, Transport Trends, 2006), and the British Council study suggests that urban populations are walking faster and faster, putting their health in danger in the process. Walking rates were measured at 35 city centres across the world and although London came outside the top ten (Number 12), overall speed is 10% higher than it was in a study completed in the early 1990s. People who walk fast are more likely to speak and eat quickly, wear a watch and get impatient. The increased pace of life , and the reasons why people are required to walk fast (i.e. meetings, deadlines) is blamed for the change.
Do these results indicate that we should stay in our cars to travel short distances? Of course not! Making very short journeys by car, is a very unhealthy practice, but these findings certainly show how important cars are in allowing people to ‘keep up’ with the modern pace of life. Stressful driving situations can also induce significant and similar health impacts so the overall message is…do less, slow down, and leave enough time no matter what transport you are using to get around!
(Original story source: BBC News)