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Old 05-27-2014, 11:51 PM
 
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I really appreciate this thread because well I just moved to Napes from NJ and thought I would be driving less or at least around less traffic. I was pretty wrong, you cant really walk anywhere here except downtown and the beach. I find myself going downtown parking and just going for a walk because it makes me happy and less stressed. I miss my parks in nj where i could just see tress and walk a mile or two around a park. This pine ridge road is crazy and getting boring, peole honking. I like Vanderbilt beach area for sidewalk walking but really I get weird looks just for walking. I guess people only do this in their gated communites. Gosh though my body needs space and breath. I guess i am going to buy a bike soon because thats more what people do here and it works well for me because i hurt my foot. I find myself stressing to get to a gym and wondering whats the point of driving this much to a gym for cardio. Again, buy a bike. Okay I get it. But hoping people realize that they are NOT THEIR CARS. You have a body and limbs, use them, your car is not your body. And so if you feel agressive and want to tail-gate on the road, i suggest you channel that anger into boxing or martial arts not on my and my little sedan. Get happy and get out of the car
on a side note WHERE ARE local politicians on this issue, ie public transportation. I would love to take buses or trams if they were convenient and could get me various places, ie work, shopping and beach
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:40 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Not quite on the topic, but here are some city maps of life expectancy. By tube stop in London. Note the drop in East London:

Lives on the Line

A few American cities:

City Maps - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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I noticed when I worked in California (LA area) that the people who moved inland and became what I called "super-commuters", meaning they drove 40-50 miles each way, would put on weight. They were spending around 4 hours per day in their cars Driving that far in stop-and-go traffic is tiring, and not burning any calories. By the time they got home, they didn't feel like going to the gym or taking a walk. They also often hit a drive through and ate crap on their way home.
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I noticed when I worked in California (LA area) that the people who moved inland and became what I called "super-commuters", meaning they drove 40-50 miles each way, would put on weight. They were spending around 4 hours per day in their cars Driving that far in stop-and-go traffic is tiring, and not burning any calories. By the time they got home, they didn't feel like going to the gym or taking a walk. They also often hit a drive through and ate crap on their way home.
Your comment reminds me of an article that says 67% of people with fitness club memberships don't even use them, or only rarely. Probably because they are too tired when they get home from their long commute everyday, to drive to the gym.

The Heavy Price of Losing Weight - US News
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I noticed when I worked in California (LA area) that the people who moved inland and became what I called "super-commuters", meaning they drove 40-50 miles each way, would put on weight. They were spending around 4 hours per day in their cars Driving that far in stop-and-go traffic is tiring, and not burning any calories. By the time they got home, they didn't feel like going to the gym or taking a walk. They also often hit a drive through and ate crap on their way home.
I don't know of any study that looks at obesity rates among those who have the kinds of super-long commutes Denverian is talking about, but I'd be interested in this information. I certainly do get a gut feeling that hours a day of commuting will leave so little time for anything else that people who do this may get little physical activity because they simply can't find the time for it.

On the other hand, there is this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlando-calrissian View Post
Your living situation does not determine your health. Too many anti-car posters are trying to prove that urban living will make you healthier. It doesn't matter where you live, but your mindset has to be that you will exercise regularly and eat properly. You can drive a car to the gym or ride a bike around the block, it doesn't matter. This is a psychological issue, not geographical.

Also, I think the correlation is being stated backwards. It isn't that "driving causes obesity," but "Obese people tend to drive more." They are less likely to walk due to their physical condition. The driving isn't causing them to be obese, they are already in bad shape and need the car in order to get around. People who want to be in shape will work to stay in shape, whether they drive a car or walk to work.
Orlando-C makes a good point here. The part I've put in bold really points out why you can't always conclude that correlation equals causation. There's a good question Orlando-C brings up here: Do people who drive more gain weight as a result, or do overweight people tend to drive more?

Orlando-C points out the reality that overweight people may drive more than slim people simply because it's more difficult for a heavy person to get around on foot. I might add that it's also likely that people who have an aversion to physical activity might be more likely to drive even short distances.

I used to work with a guy who was obese and then some--about 5'9" tall and must have weighed at least 300 pounds. This guy lived 3-1/2 blocks from the office, but he drove to work. Unless I needed a car available so I could leave immediately after work for an appointment with close timing, it never would have occurred to me to drive the distance this guy drove to work. For me it would have been automatic to walk.

But here was a guy who obviously got no physical activity at all to speak of. You can pretty much bet that he really avoided even slight activity. That's why he drove 3-1/2 blocks. It wasn't the fact that he drove a lot that made him fat. His weight and the fact that he drove even very short distances were most likely both coincidental products of his aversion to physical activity.

So I'd also be interested in a study that looked at the opposite of the very long commutes Denverian described. A study showing the rates of obesity among those who drove even very short distances might well pinpoint situations like the one with my past co-worker, where people who are overweight because they avoid even slight physical activity also drive any distance over half a block or so because of the same tendency to avoid physical activity that is the basic reason they are overweight. In other words, in such cases being overweight and doing a lot of driving are both products of a tendency to avoid physical activity, rather than one of these being the cause of the other.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Let's assume the non-car owner walks a half mile twice a day to and from the bus stop, and that the bus drops him or her almost at the door of the work place. That is REALLY minimal daily exercise! The suburban dad or mom who spends a half hour a day kicking a soccer ball around with the kids gets as much or more.
If there are in fact people here who want to use a study correlating obesity and driving to conclude that the life of walking around in a densely built city is inherently more healthful than the tendency to sit in a car while driving around the suburbs, they ought to consider the point that Escort Rider makes here.

Of course a city dweller might kick that ball around with the kids in a park, but in addition to the recreational uses of a suburban yard, think about raking leaves, cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn (depends of course on whether you have a riding mower or one you walk behind), trimming shrubbery, gardening, walking a dog, shoveling snow, scrubbing and vacuuming in a 2,000-sq. ft. house versus a 700-sq. ft. apartment, or for that matter the distance you might walk across the parking lot at a large mall, and the physical activity associated with daily living in the suburbs stacks up pretty well when compared with a few times a day walking a couple of blocks to a subway station.

Last edited by ogre; 06-04-2014 at 09:33 PM..
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Why are people manking this a urban vs suburban debate. It is close to work or far to work.

There are tine of studies that do say stress causes weight gain. There for a stressful long drive would be pretty terrible.
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
but in addition to the recreational uses of a suburban yard, think about raking leaves, cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn (depends of course on whether you have a riding mower or one you walk behind), trimming shrubbery, gardening, walking a dog, shoveling snow, scrubbing and vacuuming in a 2,000-sq. ft. house
Many people just hire help to do these things.

But your point is well taken that commuting is only an hour or so in a 24-hour day, and what you do the rest of the time probably matters more.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Why are people manking this a urban vs suburban debate. It is close to work or far to work.
Good question. That debate is often lurking around just below the surface of many threads at this forum. I for one was responding to some discussion along these lines earlier in this thread. Aside from that, this subject might seem like a better fit for the Health & Wellness forum. About the only thing that really makes this appropriate at all for the Urban Planning forum is a discussion of how much walking versus driving people do with various land use patterns, and that gets us right into a discussion of contrasts/comparisons between urban and suburban locales.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ogre View Post
but in addition to the recreational uses of a suburban yard, think about raking leaves, cleaning gutters, mowing the lawn (depends of course on whether you have a riding mower or one you walk behind), trimming shrubbery, gardening, walking a dog, shoveling snow, scrubbing and vacuuming in a 2,000-sq. ft. house
Many people just hire help to do these things.
True, in more affluent areas, but many people do some or all of these chores themselves, even in solidly middle-class suburbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
But your point is well taken that commuting is only an hour or so in a 24-hour day, and what you do the rest of the time probably matters more.
This is really the key. Whether you walk to the corner store in a city or work around the house and yard in the 'burbs, the physical activity you're likely to get from everyday living usually will be a lot less than you'll get from workouts specifically for the purpose of exercise.

Last edited by ogre; 06-04-2014 at 11:40 PM..
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