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Old 03-22-2014, 06:29 PM
 
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If I had said kids played outside 100% of the time a century ago and never ever played indoors, that would be pretty dumb, so it's a good thing I didn't say it. However, the statement that kids probably spend more time playing indoors today than they did a century ago is fairly supportable, and I'm pretty sure that kids in 1914 didn't play many videogames or watch much TV. There are lots of reasons why our homes are getting bigger.

Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House : NPR
Quote:
The average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s; it now stands at 2,349 square feet. Whether it's a McMansion in a wealthy neighborhood, or a bigger, cheaper house in the exurbs, the move toward ever large homes has been accelerating for years. Consider: Back in the 1950s and '60s, people thought it was normal for a family to have one bathroom, or for two or three growing boys to share a bedroom. Well-off people summered in tiny beach cottages on Cape Cod or off the coast of California. Now, many of those cottages have been replaced with bigger houses. Six-room apartments in cities like New York or Chicago have been combined, because upper-middle-class people now think a six-room apartment is too small. Is it wealth? Is it greed? Or are there more subtle things going on?
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
My parents grew up in smaller homes, so they had more room sharing. And the neighbors weren't really separated by fences, so play included everyones yard and the "woods" nearby. We adopted those rules when visiting our grandparents of course. And they were similar for the font yards in my suburban neighborhoods.

I feel like, even 20-30 years ago people were less concerned about everyone being private and my space.
I don’t think so. I think people have always preferred some space but just were not able to afford it. I grew up in a city and I am about your age plus or minus ten years. The areas I played in where detached housing with small yards. Kids did tend to share rooms but that was because the family had more children than rooms(most houses in the area were 2-3 bedrooms but you had 2-3 kids).
Yards were too small for older children to play in(say over 5). No one owned a personal swimming pool beyond the inflatable or plastic type you fill with a hose. Most kids played in the alley due to not wanting to break windows and the need for space.

When it was too cold or wet to play outdoors we hung indoors in someone’s finished basement. In this area basements are pretty common and people often turn them into the sort of family room or Bar that these older houses lacked. So even the TV and video game(Atari, Sega master system, Nintendo) had it’s own room per say.

The house I lived in didn’t get those upgrades and so it just had a living room that got a lot of extra wear and tear because there was nowhere else for everyone to sit together and watch a large screen TV and for a time it was the only TV in the house to have an VCR. We also lived three people one bathroom and that could be a drag at times. Some of the bedrooms were too small to hold a chair and so I truly understand the desire for more space. The desire for bedrooms that can hold an queen or king sized bed instead of an full or twin. The desire for a separate room away from the formal areas in the house for kids and family to gather and the desire for more than one bathroom. Also for a time we did without a garage(original one destroyed) on the street parking and having to sweep your car every time it snows sucks.

Kids today do spend more time indoors but that is that.
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:33 PM
 
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Of course, maybe part of why American houses are getting bigger is because Americans are getting bigger. And, of course, obese children are more susceptible to asthma, because of air pollution, largely caused by the automobiles that their parents need to drive to their homes in the suburbs!

http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/news...-air-pollution
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Why are modern buildings bigger?-obese.gif  
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Old 03-22-2014, 08:49 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,013 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
A century ago if you wanted to watch a movie you couldn't do it at home--and playing was generally done outside.
So what is "generally"? 75% of the time? Or something else?
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:09 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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I think it's generally because we are bigger and taller than our ancestors. I do not have any supporting evidence of this other than my family and the families of people I know. Recently, I was watching "Doc Martin" on Netflix and the actor that plays the doctor is 6'2 1/2". I looked this up because he always has to duck down to get into his office which is quite noticeable. I can't imagine having to duck down every time I had to enter a room and I've pondered what it's like for all those pro-athletes who are way taller than that. I can understand why they would want custom built houses.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Of course, maybe part of why American houses are getting bigger is because Americans are getting bigger. And, of course, obese children are more susceptible to asthma, because of air pollution, largely caused by the automobiles that their parents need to drive to their homes in the suburbs!

Obese Children More Susceptible to Asthma from Air Pollution | News | Mailman School of Public Health
The article cited isn't supportive of your backhand at "suburbs".
The entire study was done in New York city and on what were likely economically disadvantaged areas. The study area is an urban area. If you want to draw a conclusion maybe the conclusion is living in an urban area may be dangerous to your health.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:47 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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^^Agreed! Childhood obesity is also higher in the central cities, and air pollution is caused by many factors. The air pollution in Pittsburgh was far worse when the mills were running full-steam back in the 50s and 60s when fewer cars were around, per capita.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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The increasing options of architecture, and maybe the fact that land is becoming more scarce in some areas.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:11 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,990 posts, read 41,989,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post


Residential Examples:

Old

Modern

Notice how the modern example is just one big building.
I'm not seeing the size difference. As for the one big building across the street, you can also find old apartment buildings that size, too,
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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The other thing is we tend to give developers huge parcels or an entire block to develop at once. Before people had smaller lots to work with.
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