Walking benefits health, economy, and communities.

A community that supports walking as a primary means of transportation reaps all sorts of benefits – for health, safety, the environment, the economy, and community life.

Health facts

%

Of adults don’t get recommended levels of daily activity

%

Of children and youth don’t get recommended levels of daily activity

%

Of adults are overweight or obese

%

Of children are overweight or obese

Economic impact of inactivity-related health problems

If Canadians followed the recommendations for physical activity, we could avoid these  premature deaths:

%

of coronary heart disease deaths

%

of stroke deaths

%

of type 2 diabetes deaths

%

of hypertension deaths

Walking is the wonder drug

The risk of obesity goes down by 5% for every kilometre walked daily.

Daily walking also reduces the risk of dementia and cancer.

More people get required activity in walkable neighbourhoods.

Safety

Walkable neighbourhoods reduce pedestrian injuries and save lives. Drivers learn to share the road with walkers. Streets filled with people have less crime and vandalism.

Sustainability

Walking replaces short polluting car trips, improves local air quality, reduces congestion, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Because every transit trip begins and ends with a walk, walkability improves transit success.

Economy

Property values are higher in walkable neighbourhoods. Stores sell more thanks to increased foot traffic. Employers like walkable locations in order to attract young, creative employees. Tourists love walkability. Everybody does.

Inclusion

As the population ages, walkable communities help people remain at home, get access to essential services, and stay connected. Walkability provides similar benefits to others who do not drive, including children, people with disabilities, and those who can’t afford the high cost of owning and operating a vehicle. Walkable neighbourhoods are for everybody.

Mental health

Walking improves mood and concentration, boosts mental agility, and fights depression. Walkability promotes “sustainable happiness.”

Community

Walkability promotes routine contact with others in your neighbourhood, encouraging a sense of belonging, pride, and community participation. The street is the original social network – a community of place.

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