#CNU18: Some hot stats on health and the built environment

A cyclist can travel 3.5 miles on the energy of a 350-calorie slice of pizza. A car can go 100 feet.

How transit use correlates with physical activity: Transit users in Atlanta were found to be 3.42 times as likely as non-users to get their recommended 30 minutes a day of physical exercise. (The inference is that they walk to the MARTA station or bus stop.)

How urban density done right saves lives: If the whole country had the same automobile accident rate as New York City, the United States would save 24,000 lives annually.

Dr. Richard Jackson estimates that 17 percent of America's gross domestic product goes to medical care, and that proportion will increase to 20 percent within five years. Healthcare's share of the economy has tripled over his professional lifetime, he adds. Of the last 30 years of gain in average lifespan Americans have experienced, 25 of those were the result of public health measures and five were due to medical intervention.

An index of how health officials have come to understand the role of the built environment in public health: In 2002, no presentations by the American Public Health Association mentioned land use. In 2009, 130 APHA presentations did so.

The presenters at the morning session these items came from were Lawrence Frank of the University of British Columbia, Dr. Howard Frumkin of the Centers for Disease Control, and Dr. Richard Jackson of the UCLA School of Public Health. Bill Gilchrist of AECOM was the moderator.


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