Date added: 09/02/2014 How Does Your Environment Shape Physical Activity?
It’s been well established that increasing the amount of physical activity you do can make you leaner, stronger, smarter and healthier. With this knowledge the question remains: why isn’t everyone doing it? While there are many different issues that contribute to why people don’t take their daily amount of physical activity to the next level, one very important consideration is the environment that we place ourselves in through where we live, work and go to school.
While children are growing up one of the most important environmental influences that they have on how active a life they will lead is their family, mainly mom and dad. Mom and dad are responsible for almost every aspect of how much access children have to sports, and other physically active recreational choices. Children are dependent on parents to buy athletic equipment, wardrobe, or rec fees. They are generally responsible for any transportation to or from events. Without this type of parental involvement it can be difficult for children to set up their priorities and make time for movement.
Parents are also able to provide the emotional support and encouragement to make physical activity a worthwhile and rewarding experience. Praise from mom and dad can create an ideal setting for keeping kids motivated, while the emotional investment as well as the time and energy that parents give to active living makes it clear to kids that fitness is a priority in their lives.
Living in an area that is within walking distance to leisure locations, and other points of interest does have a large effect on the amount of physical activity that residents claim. Because the access of fun things to do is nearby, the likelihood of taking a stroll through the sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks increases substantially. It can offer more time for families to spend together, not to mention you save money on parking and gas.
Another big factor in the neighborhoods we live in is how safe we feel in our area. Generally when residents feel safer, and there is more trust within the community and neighbors, children are exposed to more opportunities for physical activity. Things like going outside are more common place because parents aren’t on edge about the dangers that their children might encounter outside.
In cities where public transportation is readily accessible physical activity tends to increase. The bus requires most people to do some amount of walking to and from the bus stop. By decreasing people’s dependency on cars for transportation it creates a need to move, making your day-to-day filled with more activity.
Living in areas where there is more infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycles also increases physical activity. People will utilize these functions because it makes commuting without a vehicle a safer option than in areas that don’t have crosswalks, bike lanes and sidewalks.
Physical activity is an important thing for you and your children. It can be difficult to make it a priority day in and day out, and some of the reasons for that falls on the environment that we create and live in. If you choice to live in an area with a bike path, a place that utilizes public transportation, or an area that is filled with recreational activities for kids, you might have better luck instilling physical activity into your child’s daily life. Take that and combine it with some tender love and care and your off to a fantastic start.
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