Health Bit: How Our Cities Are Shaping Us


This infographic, designed by Chris Yoon, illustrates the following societal trends directly related to the way people get around the places they live – namely the negative health effects of sprawling cities compared to compact cities:

  • 71% of parents of school-aged children walked or biked to school when they were young, whereas only 18% do so now.
  • +6.3 pounds = the difference in weight between the average person living in the most sprawling county in the US vs. the most compact (Geuga County, Ohio vs. New York City, New York)
  • The odds of having high blood pressure were 29% lower for residents of compact cities (like Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle).
  • 65% of the adult population in the United States is overweight, and almost one in three is obese. Over the past 25 years, the portion of children, age 6 to 11 who are overweight has doubled, while the portion of overweight teens has tripled. 15% of teenagers 6-19 are now overweight.

The best way to change these factoids is by changing your lifestyle. An easy fix is to incorporate more walking and biking into your day-to-day activities. Try it out!

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