Walking to Improve Health

With more than 50 miles of trails, Babcock Ranch offers plenty of opportunities for walkers.

In fact, developer Kitson & Partners developed Babcock Ranch to promote pedestrian instead of vehicular traffic. The town’s streets fanning out from the downtown area called Founders Square are specifically designed to encourage residents to leave their cars parked and walk or ride their bicycles to shops, restaurants, school or office.

Babcock Ranch is at the vanguard of what planners say is a return to walkable communities. Many of the designs incorporate traditional architecture and planning that were well-suited for pedestrians before the arrival of the automobile.

Indeed, it’s no coincidence that pedestrian-friendly communities are also among the healthiest.

Big Benefits of Walking

Numerous medical studies show that walking is hugely beneficial to health. In fact, you don’t have to hike far or move fast to get the benefits of walking.

University College London scientists who reviewed the extensive studies on the subject found some significant positive results, according to an account of the research in Harvard Medical School’s newsletter. The studies followed nearly half-million participants for cardiovascular health over an average of 11 years.

In all, walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31%, and it cut the risk of dying during the study period by 32%. These benefits were equally robust in men and women. The benefits were evident even at distances of just 5½ miles per week and at a pace as casual as about 2 miles per hour.

This matched the results of Harvard studies, which showed:

  • Among 10,269 male graduates of Harvard College, walking at least nine miles a week was linked to a 22% lower death rate.
  • Among 44,452 male health professionals, walking at least 30 minutes a day was linked to an 18% lower risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Among 72,488 female nurses, walking at least three hours a week was linked to a 35% lower risk of heart attack and cardiac death and a 34% lower risk of stroke.

Embracing Walkable Communities and Towns

In 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a call to action to encourage walking and walkable communities. Considering the research showing the overwhelming benefits of walking, communities all over the nation have developed walkable communities.

For years since the post-World War II auto boom, developers have flocked to the suburbs to build communities that are dependent on the car. Now, they’re realizing that such developments are unhealthy because no one walks to shops, restaurants, and schools.

Recognizing that, developer Kitson & Partners developed Babcock Ranch to be a walkable community. That means you can walk or ride your bike to school, meet friends at Founder’s Square or stroll your four-legged friend to the neighborhood dog park.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of walking and walkable communities, you can read the surgeon general’s report by clicking here.

For more information on Babcock Ranch, please call 941-257-4936.