The health of individuals in pedestrian-friendly areas tends to be better than those in auto-dependent communities.
A new mobility task force is being formed to address all issues related to transportation at MUSC and will seek to identify barriers to alternative transportation, commuter concerns, safety issues related to movement around campus and overall livability of the MUSC community. The committee will be representative of the Charleston community and MUSC, including hospital, UMA, university personnel and students.
Walkability is a measure of how inviting or uninviting an area is to pedestrians and includes safety and desirability of the walking routes. Walkability has many health, environmental, and economic benefits including improved resource responsibility, physical fitness and social interaction. Walkable communities are thriving, livable, sustainable places that provide safe transportation choices and improved quality of life and are not limited to residential areas. At work, walkability includes streets and sidewalks between buildings on campus and city blocks, and even walking or nature trails.
Questions related to worksite walkability include the following:
Do employees walk to those meetings, or drive?
Do they walk for exercise or recreation at lunch or during breaks?
Do they walk to restaurants or parks to have lunch?
In pedestrian-friendly areas, the average resident weighs seven pounds less and gets the 30 minutes per day of physical activity recommended by the Surgeon General. Ties between neighbors and in the community are stronger and that not only enhances a person's quality of life but means greater safety in the area.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to maintain functional fitness and reduce risk for chronic disease.
The U.S. Surgeon General advises that 30 minutes of walking five days a week will significantly reduce adult risk of developing a host of diseases, ranging from cancer to depression and can even be divided into three, 10-minute bouts with the same benefits.
Getting people to practice active forms of transportation such as walking and biking is critical to sustainability, economic development and good public health. Actually getting more people to walk and bike, though, is another challenge that must be addressed. One step in promoting walking and biking is to identify the factors that influence people's decisions to bike, walk, take transit or drive. Studies suggest factors affecting people's decision to walk include an area's uses and activities; access and linkages; comfort and image and its sociability.
To become involved in the task forced, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employee Wellness events
- Join MUSC's Employee Wellness Heart Walk Team. American Heart Association's 2011 Lowcountry Heart Walk will take place from 8 -11 a.m., Sept. 17 at Liberty Square. Visit http://www.startlowcountrysc.org. Free pedometers will be provided for team members.
- Farmers market: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every Friday in the Horseshoe and in the grassy area next to Ashley River Tower behind Charleston Memorial Hospital.
- Email email@example.com to become involved in employee wellness.