Do you belong to a Missouri community and want to help your city save money? Would you like to keep your residents healthy? Then it’s time to call concrete sidewalk pavers. The answer to the questions is simple: walking.
The Benefits of Walking
The health benefits of walking are long. For one, it helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases. According to a 2013 study by the American Heart Association (AHA), walking provides the same outcomes as running. It can lower your cholesterol, diabetes markers, and overall odds of coronary heart disease.
Granted, running has a higher percentage of positive outcomes than walking. It’s because you seem to exert twice the effort. Walking, though, can be more sustainable in the long term. Besides, both activities exercise similar muscle groups.
Walking can also protect the brain, decreasing the chances of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2011 research showed a connection between brain volume and physical activity. That is, individuals who are active also tend to have a higher brain volume.
The speed of walking can even help assess a person’s susceptibility to disease. That’s the finding of the American Geriatrics Society in 2019. The researchers concluded that those who walked slowly were more likely to develop mobility disabilities within the next eight years.
The benefits of walking also extend to the community’s economy. A city that’s not walkable can be costly to its people. A 2011 report published in the America Walks website revealed that transportation was the second biggest household expense.
Poor walkability might force families to buy a car, and that could decrease their mortgage capacity by as much as $150,000 per vehicle. Reducing one also adds this figure back.
Healthy communities also decrease healthcare costs. Heart disease, for instance, is already worth $200 billion annually. That’s according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These costs go toward medications, lost productivity, and healthcare.
How Walkable Is Missouri?
There’s no official method to measure an area’s walkability. For the sake of discussion, you can refer to the data from Walk Score. In Missouri, the most walkable city is St. Louis. It achieved a score of 65, which means it’s somewhat walkable. You can complete some of your errands on foot.
The biggest city, Kansas City, though, scored lower at 34. This implied that most errands would need a vehicle. The state’s capital fared worse, getting only a score of 25.
Many factors can affect a location’s walkability. One of these is population density. It’s only natural for social services and businesses to bring themselves closer to more urban areas.
Another is the size and quality of the road network. Narrow roads might discourage people to walk. So do an inconsistent road system. It means one area has a clear pathway while another, only a few meters away, doesn’t have any.
Walking helps sustain an economy and improves the quality of life of the people. The good news is you can begin by introducing more walkable paths in your neighborhood.