News Brief

Study Shows Walkable Communities Are Healthier, Happier

The more activities that are accessible on foot, the happier a community’s residents are, according to the findings from a collection of 700 interviews from 20 New Hampshire neighborhoods. The study, recently published in the journal

Applied Research in Quality of Life, suggests that people living in walkable neighborhoods are often more involved in and trusting of their communities, thus experiencing a higher quality of life. The study found higher “social capital”—a measure of networks, connections, and involvement in a community—in prominently walkable communities. Residents of walkable neighborhoods reported better health—likely due to increased daily walking—and happiness than those in less-walkable areas. Walkable neighborhoods reduce isolation, which has mental health and social benefits, and reliance on fuel-based transportation. The study abstract can be viewed at www.springerlink.com.

Published January 27, 2011

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