Research has shown that the built environment in which people live, work and play impacts their level of physical activity. A walkable community is defined as a community with a mix of housing, stores, business, schools and destinations interconnected by paths, trails and sidewalks that make it easy to walk.
Communities that support walking as a primary mode of transportation provide health, environmental, safety, social and economic benefits. Among the many benefits, daily physical activity helps to maintain a healthy body weight and reduces the risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, colon cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. People often identify time as a barrier for why they are not more physically active. Therefore it is recommended that people try to incorporate physical activity into daily life by walking to work, school, shopping or to run errands.
To better understand the perceptions and attitudes about walkable communities from residents in our area, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit conducted a WalkON survey. Findings from this survey provide direction for the health unit to work with community partners to make communities more walkable and increase residents’ levels of daily physical activity.
Click here for the full WalkON Survey Report