Walk for Your Life! Restoring Neighborhood Walkways to Enhance Community Life, Improve Street Safety and Reduce Obesity
This is a book about walking but it is really about more than walking. It is about what we want our future to be. Will we leave our children a world where obesity and poor health is the norm or will we do what it takes to create an environment that supports health and wellness? Believe it or not, it all starts with walking. --James O. Hill, America On The Move
Our streets and roadways have become increasingly unsafe and unfriendly to pedestrians and bikers. Suburban sprawl makes driving a near-necessity. City planning focuses more on moving traffic than enabling people to move safely. And we are becoming alarmingly less healthy as our opportunities to walk are curtailed.
With obesity at an-all time high, America's sidewalks vanishing from our suburbs, pedestrians and bicyclists at risk along many thoroughfares, and a looming fuel crisis on the horizon, we need to re-evaluate personal and societal walking values. This thought-provoking book calls for the restoration of a walkable environment as a starting point for addressing these pressing issues.
- Urban Sprawl and Automobile Dependence
- Physical Inactivity and Health
- The Cost of Institutionalized Obesity
- Urban Design and Zoning Laws
NOW AVAILABLE IN E-BOOK FORMAT!
Vital Health E-Books are fully interactive scholar pdf's with advanced search capabilities, text-to-audio capability and can be purchased as on-line editions or as downloadable pdf's. You choose the price-- full price for full functionality, or lower pricing if copy and print functions are not needed. Perfect for researchers!
[Marie Demers, Ph.D.]
Reviews and Excerpts
I am delighted that at last there is a no-nonsense book on every aspect of walking. This empowering resource deserves a place on every person's book shelf. Karen Giblin, Founder and CEO, Red Hot Mamas
Click here for the Vision Magazine article by Marie on creating healthy communities.
Click here for a review from Baloghblog
Click here for a review by the UK group, 'Walking the way to Health Initiative'
Check out the Car-Free Times blog- great information and inspiration for lessening the impact of cars on the environment and more, plus a snippet for Walk For Your Life: Car-Free Times
Review of Walk For Your Life!
Conventional wisdom says that Americans are overweight because they consume a high fat, high calorie diet, but Demers makes a case for examining the effects of the automobile-dependent society on weight and well-being in Walk for Your Life.
In this book she describes the historical, ecological, and financial influences of urban sprawl on health behavior and provides several suggestions about how individuals can increase their walking time despite unfavorable environments.
She weaves in both the causes and the effects of society's dependence on the automobile in this interesting book. Americans use their automobiles because cities are creeping out into wide-open spaces where walking is inconvenient. Entrepreneurs are building subdivisions and businesses that use up natural habitats, shrinking the ‘human habitat.' In the suburbs, getting somewhere requires automobile transportation. Combined with the faster pace of modern life, people do not have time to walk to their destinations. Shopping centers and industrial parks lend themselves to pedestrian-unfriendly intersections. Walking becomes a chore and utilitarian walking is actually stigmatized in a society fascinated with slick, fast cars and family-sized vehicles. The sedentary lifestyle is further reinforced by society's dependence on convenience. Denser, older communities are more walker-friendly, with New York City topping the list. Parks, stores, schools, and much more are in close proximity in neighborhoods in densely-populated cities, so walking is more convenient and often necessary.
Walk for Your Life contains so much detail that the reading becomes repetitive and some material seems tangential to the main points of the book. This drawback is understandable due to the complexity of the book's message, and the message is clear. Statements are backed up by solid evidence. The approach the author uses is scholarly, yet the flow and writing style are smooth and easy to understand. Excellent pictures and tables illustrate the points made in the text. Graphs are based on well-referenced studies and constructed for instant understanding.
Demers provides solutions for both communities and individuals in the final section of the book. For example, walkable neighborhoods could be designed for convenience and safety, featuring hiking and biking trails and links to public transportation. Individuals can increase the amount they walk and exercise by slowing the pace of their lives and seeking opportunities to walk rather than to use the car. Additionally, the last chapter of the book outlines Internet resources for people interested in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Walk for Your Life would be an excellent book for anyone interested in exercise, ecology, health promotion, history, and urban planning, to name a few, and could be used as a supplemental text for multiple college-level courses.