According to a recent USA Today article, public health researches have identified neighborhood features that can make it easier or harder to pratice healthy behaviors.
1. Parks and Playgrounds
Places for children and adults to exercise.
2. Bicycle lanes, wide sidewalks
Encourages exercise and less car travel.
3. Other Street designs
Well-marked crosswalks make it clear that pedestrians have the right-of-way. Large rounded curb extensions in commercial areas can slow car traffic and provide safer parking.
4. Neighborhood health clinics
Improves access for important health care, such as immunizations and tests for diabetes and high blood pressure.
5. Healthier corner stores
Less chips, soda, liquor and cigarettes and more fruits and vegetables. No liquor stores in the neighborhood would also help.
6. Better lighting
Discourages crime and violence.
7. Public transportation
Gets people out of cars and gets people moving more.
Source: The Prevention Research Center at Tulane University.
Images: Metro Jacksonville