Key facts • Walking and cycling for recreation and transport are important in reducing...

Key facts


• Walkingandcyclingforrecreationandtransportare
importantinreducingtheriskofcardiovasculardisease
andotherchronicdiseasesandhaveawiderangeof
benefitsforphysicalandmentalhealth,aswellassocial
andcommunityhealth.1


• Promotingwalkingisapositiveandequitablemeansof
increasingourpopulationlevelsofphysicalactivity.2


• Thebuiltenvironmentcaneitherfacilitateordiscourage
walking.2


• Awhole-of-governmentapproachiscrucialinsupporting
andencouragingwalkingandinthecreationofwalkable
communities.2


TheHeartFoundationworkstowardscreatinghealthy
environmentsthatencourageandsupportmorepeopleto
walkmoreoften.Walkingisanactivitythatnotonlybenefits
thehealthofthepopulationbutprovidesgainsinrelationto
economicvitality,climatechange,trafficcongestion,social
cohesionandcommunitysafety.


Walkingisthemostfundamentalformofmobility.Itis
inexpensive,emission-free,burnsupkilojoulesratherthan
fossilfuels,offersimportanthearthealthbenefits,andis
equallyaccessibleforallregardlessofincome.3


Thevitalityofallcitiesiscloselylinkedtopeopleoccupying
theurbanspace,notonlyfortrippurposes.Walkingisat
theheartofurbanlifeandcontributestoliveable,attractive,
prosperousandsustainablecities.3


WhyWalking?
TheHeartFoundationcaseforinvestmentinwalking


PositionSnapshot


Further Information:HeartFoundation,155HuttSt,AdelaideSouthAustralia5000
0882242863ps@heartfoundation.org.au


CALL TO ACTION
The Heart Foundation is encouraging
state and local governments to invest
in walking to create a state that is
pedestrian-friendly where walking is
accessible, comfortable and safe.


TheHeartFoundationisencouraginglocal
governmentstodevelopintegratedwalking
strategiesthatcoordinateand‘joinup’existing
work,aswellas:


• Encouragewalkingthroughawarenessand
educationactivities;


• Collaborateacrossstrategiestoimprove
provisionforpedestrians;


• Providepedestrian-friendlybuilt
environments,streetsforpeople,shared
spacesandpublicspaces;


• Improvethesafetyofwalking;
• Increaseinclusivemobilityforallages;
• Reduceroaddanger;
• Reducecrimeandthefearofcrime;
• Provideopportunitiestocelebrateandenjoy


walking;


• Integratewalkingwithpublictransport


TheHeartFoundationencouragesalllevelsof
governmentandtheirdepartmentstoapplya
“walkinglens”toinfrastructureprojectssuchas
roadsandresidentialdevelopments.


TheHeartFoundationwantsallSouthAustralians
tothinkabouthowtheycanwalkmoreaspartof
theirday.


The Heart Foundation
wants South Australia
to be a state where
everyone is a walker.
Where streets, parks,
public spaces and
suburbs are accessible,
secure, lively and
enjoyable so that
people choose to walk
more often and build it
into their daily lives.


1




2


What’stheproblem?Doesn’teveryone
walk?
AcrosstheSouthAustralianpopulation,physicalactivitylevels
areincreasing,butstillhalfoftheadultsarestillnotactive
enoughtogainanyhealthbenefits4andthisiscoupledwith
analarmingriseinoverweightandobesity.Therealityisthat
manypeoplestruggletoreachhealthylevelsofdailyphysical
activity.


FormanySouthAustralianswalkingisagreatsourceof
pleasureandsocialwellbeing.


InSouthAustralia(SA)walkingconsistentlyremainsthemost
preferredactivityforadultsandimportantlyisidentifiedas
themostlikelyactivitythatwouldbeundertakenbythose
consideringincreasingtheiractivitylevels.5Toincrease
walkingacrosscommunitiesmultiplestrategiesareneededthat
simultaneouslyfocusonthebuiltenvironment,community
educationandaccesstowalkingprograms.Thesestrategies
willhelptocreateapositivesocialculturethatvaluesand
supportswalking.


Themannerinwhichwedesignandbuildourcitiesand
townsisimportantifwearetoprovideanenvironmentthat
supportswalking.Wecouldeasilybethemostwalkablestate
inAustraliawithourflatterrainandexistingwidestreets–all
weneedissomeinnovativethinkingandawillingnessfrom
ourcommunitytosupportthereprioritisationofourplanning
andpractice.Thefocusshouldshifttoconsideringwalkingand
cyclingfriendlydesigns,aswellasdesigningforcaruse.


Walkinghasthepotentialtocontributetothelocal
governmentagendaforcommunitywellbeingandwiththe
newPublicHealthAct,contributetoreducingchronicdisease.
Afocusonincreasingwalkinginourcommunitywillsupport
councils’walkingstrategies,theEat Well Be Active Strategy for
South Australia 2011-2016 6,andtheGovernment’spriority
agendaonsafecommunitiesandhealthyneighbourhoods.


WhyistheHeartFoundationinvolved
inwalking?


TheHeartFoundationiscommittedtoimprovingthehealth
ofAustralians.AspartofourworktheHeartFoundationis
focusedonencouragingAustralianstoincreasetheamount
theywalk,whetheritbeforrecreation,social,healthor
transportreasons.


TheHeartFoundationisinvolvedinanumberofstrategiesthat
addresstheenvironmental,socialandindividualdeterminants
ofwalking,including:


• Creatingwalking and cycling friendly environments
throughcollaborationssuchastheSouthAustralianActive
LivingCoalitionandbyworkingwithgovernments


• Heart Foundation Walking-Overthepast17yearsthe
HeartFoundationhasdevelopedconsiderableexperience,
agrowingevidencebaseandcorporateknowledge
aroundwalkinggroupprograms.Currentlythereareover
20,000activeparticipantsacrossAustraliawithover3000
inSA.Thisrepresentsvolunteerwalkorganisers,Area
Coordinators,walkersandsupporters.


• Heart Foundation Walking@Work–Workerswhoare
physicallyactivearelikelytoexperiencehighersatisfaction
andmotivation,increasedproductivityandreduced
absenteeism.Theprogramencouragesemployeestowalk
atanytimeoftheday,whetheritisindividuallyorwith
others.Employeescanwalk:aspartofastructuredwalking
group,toandfromwork,atlunchtime,tomeetings,orhold
walkingmeetings.


• WorkingwithlocalgovernmentstosupporttheWalk21
International Charter for Walkingandsupportingthe
developmentofwalkingstrategies.


TheHeartFoundationisencouragingmoreSouthAustralians
tothinkabouthowtheycanwalkmoreoftenaspartof
theirday.


“Responsibility for accommodating the
needs of pedestrians and accommodating
walking are spread across a wide range of
organisations and ministries.”
Source: OECD, International Transport Forum 2011




Whatarethebenefitsofwalking?
Therearewide-rangingbenefitsassociatedwithincreasingwalkingacrosshealth,economicandenvironmental
dimensions.


Health benefits
• Walkingfor30minutesadayormorecanreducetheriskofcardiovascular


diseasebyupto30%.7


• Fact:Travellingbypublictransportcontributesanaverageof41minutes/
dayofcyclingorwalking,whereastraveltoworkbycar,taxiormotorbike
contributesanaverageofonly8minutes/dayofactivity.8


Walkingalso:3


• helpstomaintainbonedensity,reducingtheriskofosteoporosisand
fractures


• helpstomanageweight,bloodpressureandbloodcholesterol


• reducestheriskofheartdiseaseandstroke


• helpstopreventandcontroldiabetes


• reducestheriskofdevelopingsomecancers.


Social benefits


• Walkingisassociatedwithincreasedsocialinteraction,thedevelopmentofsocialcapitalandincreasedsafety.11


• Fact:Elementssuchasgreaterlandusemix,well-placedseating,greenery,features,widepavements,active
frontages,treesandshadycanopiesandarticulatedfacadescanallincreasepedestriansocialinteraction.11


Economic benefits
• IthasbeenestimatedthatifmoreAustralianswerephysicallyactiveforjust30minutesaday,theAustralian


healthcaresystemcouldsave$1.5billionannually.9


• Awell-designed,qualitystreetenvironmentthatpromoteswalking,cyclingandpublictransportisalsogoodfor
businessandessentialtothesuccessofrevitalisationstrategies.10Streetscapeenhancementsaddvaluetoanarea
andareassociatedwithhigherretailrentsandtheattractionofnewbusinesses.


• Morepeoplewalkingsupportssafetyleadingtofewerroadcasualties,injuriestopedestriansandtraffic
collisions.11


• Walkingandcyclinghavebeenshowntohaveapositiveimpactonworkperformance.12


Environmental benefits
• Walking,whenincorporatedintodailyactivitiescanreducegreenhousegasemissions,noisepollution,air


pollutionifusedtoreplacecartrips.13


• Evidenceshowsthatreplacingshortdistancecartrips–themostdamagingtotheenvironment-withwalkingcan
haveasignificantimpact,consideringthat40%ofallcartripsarelessthan3km.14


3


“Travelling by public transport contributes
an average of 41 minutes/day of cycling
or walking, whereas travel to work by car,
taxi or motorbike contributes an average
of only 8 minutes/day of activity.”




References
1. NationalHeartFoundationofAustralia.BlueprintforanactiveAustralia.Melbourne:NHFA,2009.


2. NationalHeartFoundationofAustralia.Positionstatement.Walkingandthebuiltenvironment.Melbourne:NHFA,2009.


3. InternationalTransportForum,JointOECD/ITFTransportResearchCommittee.Workinggrouponpedestriansafety,urbanspaceandhealth.2011.


4. DepartmentofHumanServicesSouthAustralia.PhysicalActivityLevelsofSouthAustralianAdults2001.2002.


5. SAHealth.PhysicalactivitylevelsofSouthAustralianadults.2007.


6. GovernmentofSouthAustralia.EatWellBeActive2011-2016Adelaide:SAGovernment,2011.


7. HamerM,ChidaY.Walkingandprimaryprevention:ameta-analysisofprospectivecohortstudies.BritishJSportsMed.2008;42:238-43.


8. BusVic.PublicTransportUseaTickettoHealth,BriefingPaper,BusAssociationVictoria(www.busvic.asn.au);at
www.busvic.asn.au/database/files/BusVic%20briefing%20paper%20-%20PT%20use%20a%20ticket%20to%20health%2012Mar2010.pdf.2010.


9. MedibankPrivate.Thecostofphysicalinactivity.2007.


10.NationalHeartFoundationofAustralia,TolleyR.GoodforBusine$$:Thebenefitsofmakingstreetsmorewalkingandcyclingfriendly.Adelaide:Heart
Foundation,2011.


11.SinnettD,WilliamsK,ChatterjeeK,CavillN.Makingthecaseforinvestmentinthewalkingandcyclingenvironment.LivingStreets,2011.


12.LondonSchoolofEconomics.TheBritishcyclingeconomy.2011.


13.DavisA,ValsecchiC,FergussonM.Unfitforpurpose:Howcarusefuelsclimatechangeandobesity.London:InstituteforEuropeanEnvironmentalPolicy,2007.


14.TransportDataCentre.2008/2009HouseholdTravelSurveySummaryReport.NSWGovernment,2010.


Further resources
Healthy by Design SA: A guide to planning, designing and developing healthy urban environments in South Australia (2013)
Aresourcetoassistplannersandrelatedprofessionalstodesignhealthyurbanenvironmentsthatenablehealthylifestyles.


Streets for People Compendium for South Australia Practice (2012)
Aresourcetoprovideguidanceondesignprinciplesforcreatingwalkingandcyclingfriendlystreets.


Position Statement on the Built Environment and Walking (2009)


Good for Busine$$: the benefits of making streets more walking and cycling friendly (2011)
Thisdiscussionpaperassertsthatawell-designedqualitystreetenvironmentthatpromoteswalking,cyclingandpublictransportisgoodforbusiness
andthelocaleconomy.


TheHeartFoundationpromotestheWalk21 International Charter for Walkingwhichshowshowtocreateaculturewherepeoplechoosetowalk.


Heart Foundation’s Walkability Checklist (2011)
Thewalkabilitychecklistisaconsumeradvocacytooldesignedtohelpindividualsandgroupsaudittheirlocalwalkingenvironment.


4


March2013


Source11


Figure 1


Whyinvestinwalking?
Investmentsinthewalkingenvironmentcantakeanumberofforms(seeFigure1).Theseinvestmentsareaimedatcreating
betterplacesforpeople.Theseenhancementsleadtomorewalkingwhichcangeneratebenefitstophysicalandmentalhealth
andwellbeing,socialinteractionandsafety,economicbenefits(tobusinessesandpropertyowners),andenvironmental
improvements.Thesebenefitsandtherelationshipsbetweenthemaremulti-facetedandcomplex,butevidencecontinuesto
addtotheknowledgeaboutthebestenvironmentstoencouragewalking.




Key facts • Walking and cycling for recreation and transport are important in reducing...
Share