Thank you for inviting me to come and speak about how trails have healthy benefits for communities.
Often I do presentations with lots of text and facts and figures. Today, I will be taking a slightly different approach, hoping you will pick up a few take away things or ideas to think about or to implement.
First I want to tell you a bit about Ophea’s. Ophea works in partnership with school boards, public health, government, non-government organizations and private sector organizations to develop groundbreaking progmrams and services that support healthy active schools and communities. We provide a healthy school and healthy community approachfor children from JK to Grade 12 looking at a comprehensive approach including healthy eating and physical activity.
The Physical Activity Resource Centre is a project of Ophea is for all ages from pregnancy to older adults and works with public health, community health centres and recreation .
We are funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion and work with public health, community health centres and recreation departments across the province of Ontario.
PARC works to further support health promotion specialists in the area of physical activity through training, networking, resource sharing and offering expertise in the area of physical activity. We are your one stop shop for physical activity promotion and information. We are presently involved in the upcoming International Congress on physical activity in public health.
What is the built environment – how is it defined?
What do trails mean to communities and how does this relate to healthier communities?
Having access to trails can build communities through offering ways to be active. Many health benefits are associated with being active. Lowers blood presssure, decreases changes of developing Type 2 diabetes, increases energy, helps you sleep better, improves mood, lowers blood cholesterol, provides a social outlet, makes safer communities... OTHER IDEAS – pedometer toss to those with ideas
HSFO developed a position statement October 2007 and identified a link between the built environment and physical activity. What does this mean to our communities and the economic impact?
Trails are one way of providing active transportation - a way of getting around, a way of connecting with nature –Benefits of connecting with nature Emotional well being,Spiritual sense of perspective, Observation skills, Cognitive abilities,Creativity,Healthy risk taking,Balanced sense of humility,Stressmanagement,Increasedattention,Lowered depression How much could be saved from all these problems... Last child in the woods..
The Last Child in the woods, by Richard Louve, states in his book: For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf, a pet that lives and dies, a worn path through the woods, a fort nested in stinging neetles, a damp mysterious edge of a vacant lot – whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older larger world separate from parents. Unlike television, anture does not steal time, it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighbourhood. It serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws reinterpret the cultures fantasies. Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses. Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, was it in a creek, turn it over to see what lies on the unseen side of that confusion. Louve refers to NATURE DEFICIT of children.
Connecting with nature is also great for our pets
Safety concerns keep 1 in 5 Canadians from walking or bicycling.<6> Community planning thatencourages walking and biking is likely to improve perceived neighbourhood safety, particularlyamong women, parents of younger children and the elderly < 3-5> and may increase rates of physicalactivity amongst Canadians
Trails also have other benefits other than physical. They have mental, spiritual and economic. Across Canada, only about 12% of trips to the grocery store, work, the library or school are made on footor by bicycle. While this is higher than the 7% rate in the United States, it is much lower than in theNetherlands (46%) and Denmark (41%).<7>
Trails can build strong families and therefore our communities. Community planning that encourages walking, biking and public transit use will helplower pollution levels, increase physical activity levels and decrease the risks for heart disease and stroke.Careful planning is also required to reduce pedestrian exposure to air pollution along suburban streetsand in central and often more walkable parts of cities, where cars and people are concentrated.
Research indicates that the risk of obesity can decline by 4.8% for each additional kilometre walked per dayand can increase by 6% for each hour spent in a car per day. <9> In Canada, 34% of residents of majorurban centres report walking, biking, or taking public transit to get to work, compared 18% of residents insmaller Canadian communities. <8>
Economic burden of physical activity was estimated $5.3 billion (1.6 billion in direct costs and $3.7 billion in indirect costs) while the cost associated with obesity was $4.3 billion ( 1.6 billion in direct, 2.7 billion of indirect costs) the total economic costs of physical activity and obesity represented 2.6% and 2.7%, of the total health care costsin Canada. Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk (2004)
Cost to own and operate a car $8,945/yr and cost for a bicycle $150, walking free (perhaps some good shoes)
Studies have shown there are significant beneftis to employers associated with having staff that are phyiscally active. Economic benefits can include reduced absenteeism due to illness, lower healthcare costs and increased productivity. Kavage and Litman 2006
Overweight and obesity are serious health problems in Canada. Rates of overweight and obesity have beenclimbing steadily for the past 30 years. These rising rates are directly linked to a lack of physical activity. This also contributes to high health care costs associated with obesity. amongst Canadians.
The cost of constructing a parking space for bicycle is approximately 5% of the cost of parking space for an automobile. Study from Netherlands and Germany - 2008
Active transportation infrastructure supports local businesses and tourism as cyclists and pedestrians are more likely to spend their money at local destinations, thus increasing economic viability within their community. Federation of Canadian Municipalities for sustainable community development 2008 – Communities in motion: bring active transportation to life
Let’s look at some other areas of economic impact in a promo video
Louise d - trial presentation
HEALTHY BENEFITS OF TRAILS<br />Logo’s here<br />
What is the built environment?<br />The built environment encompasses four components:<br />Community Design<br />the design of communities and their<br />physical elements (such as streets, parks, or sidewalks),including both their arrangement and appearance.<br />
Land use <br />the distribution of activities across space,including the location and density of housing,workplaces,schools, green space, commercial and industrial uses.<br />
What’s happening in Niagara<br />The Greater Niagara Circle Route produced by the Welland Canals Parkway: Thorold Task Group, who have a mandate to promote the trail. <br /> http://www.youtube.com/tourismniagara#p/u/1/sSn5T-rRXZs<br />