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Does where you live influence your weight & fitness?

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Replies

  • Walkywalkerson
    Walkywalkerson Posts: 453 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    Sure, an article about a social media thread is the ideal way to find out what everyone in a large, diverse country does and thinks.

    The last two paragraphs are the only useful ones: Something more like research suggests the average USAian walks 1200 fewer steps on the average day than the average UKian.

    I (USAian) agree that many adults where I am seem oddly averse to walking, possibly even in circumstances where walking is viable. My guess is that those more inclined to walking might spend less time on social media describing or defending not walking.

    Just a guess, though, no research . . . kind of like all but the last 2 paragraphs of that article.

    Don't worry - I doubt anyone has taken an article from a newspaper too seriously 🤣
    Just like I take comments on this forum with a pinch of salt.
    It's a very aggressive unwelcoming place.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    There’s an interesting history to that:

    https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2015/1/15/7551873/jaywalking-history
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
    Somebody describing working for Uber. This reminded me of the question of whether Americans walk. This isn't a fair answer of it's because of a heat wave, but still.


    I had a particularly unpleasant experience once when I received a call for a mall pickup. It was in the summer and it was hot. When I arrived, four teenage girls piled into my car and had me drive them across the parking lot because it was too hot for them to walk to their car. The entire ride was not even a minute. They then gave me a low rating because I took too long to get to them and didn’t provide them with bottled iced water. I made $2.00 on a ride, got a lower rating which could cost me my job, and spent almost half an hour of my time on the ride.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,894 Member
    I haven't read the thread so sorry if I'm repeating anything.
    I'm in the UK in a small city with a lot of green space etc ..
    It is unusual to see very obese people here - the majority are of a normal weight.
    Of course fast food is available but it is balanced with a lot of healthier options because there is a high demand for it.

    Hey. I have a question.

    I live in the US. I’ve lived in a few different areas over the years. And even in the urban areas there were few parks compared to where I lived in British Columbia.
    What parks there are will have a running track, usually. But as far as exercise equipment? That’s about it.

    OK soccer fields and tennis courts exist.

    But not balance beams and chin up bars, like I saw frequently in BC.

    Also? In BC there was a little neighborhood park everywhere as far as I could see. In the urban and suburban areas, anyhow.

    I developed the idea that since healthcare was paid for by the government, it was in the best interest of the government to provide as much opportunity to exercise as they could.

    So. My question: Are there little parks within easy walking distance in urban and suburban areas in the UK? Parks with things like chin up bars and balance beams?

    Do you think parks having chin up bars and balance beams would affect the obesity rate? I really don't, and I grew up near a park (in the US) with lots of exercise stops (although not specifically those things). I don't think it added to just having running/walking/biking areas (which this place had a ton of) in effect.

    Where I live in the US there are tons of parks and it is very walkable/runnable and there are easily accessible bike paths.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,894 Member
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    IMO, this is an over generalization. I have always lived in areas where one can use public transportation and walk for all shopping, and still do. I lived here for 14 years before getting a car and only did bc I have to drive to the 'burbs sometimes for work, wanted to be able to do longer road trips w/o renting a car, and wanted to be able to go to biking paths in the 'burbs (there are also lots in the city). I walk a ton for shopping and to get to friends or for public transit (my L stop isn't so close, although I could bus to it, walking is a nice way to get in steps).

    Lots of people where I live bike a lot (I sometimes do), and there is a well-used Divvy system. I know you bike a lot, so that puzzles me more about your over generalization about people in the US. I know many who don't even own cars, as I didn't for years, and my sister and a good friend don't even have licenses.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,829 Member
    I haven't read the thread so sorry if I'm repeating anything.
    I'm in the UK in a small city with a lot of green space etc ..
    It is unusual to see very obese people here - the majority are of a normal weight.
    Of course fast food is available but it is balanced with a lot of healthier options because there is a high demand for it.

    Hey. I have a question.

    I live in the US. I’ve lived in a few different areas over the years. And even in the urban areas there were few parks compared to where I lived in British Columbia.
    What parks there are will have a running track, usually. But as far as exercise equipment? That’s about it.

    OK soccer fields and tennis courts exist.

    But not balance beams and chin up bars, like I saw frequently in BC.

    Also? In BC there was a little neighborhood park everywhere as far as I could see. In the urban and suburban areas, anyhow.

    I developed the idea that since healthcare was paid for by the government, it was in the best interest of the government to provide as much opportunity to exercise as they could.

    So. My question: Are there little parks within easy walking distance in urban and suburban areas in the UK? Parks with things like chin up bars and balance beams?

    Meant to answer this earlier, but forgot until I saw Lemur's response.

    The park where I've been starting my post-rowing walks this summer has one of those outdoor workout-station kinds of areas, though not chin up bars or balance beams specifically. There are things like lat pulldown, chest press, leg press, leg raise, dips, and some others (don't remember all of them), with bodyweight as the resistance, or a fixed weight. (For example, when you do the seated pull-downs, the seat raises as well as the handles moving downward, so that your bodyweight is what provides the weight/resistance.)

    It's rarely used, but I've seen some people use it. Before recent surgery, I started using parts of it myself, at the end of my walk, just as an experiment. It's entertaining, but a little ineffective IMO: For me, some parts are too easy (leg press, for example), and some are too hard (things where I need to support my bodyweight on my forearms - shoulder joints shriek). I assume it'd be variously ineffective in similar ways for other people. Once I'm cleared, I'll probably start using some of the stations again just for the grins (doing it > not doing it, in fitness terms).

    There used to be more of these kinds of areas, like alongside running paths there would be stations, intermittently. I think they got little use, weren't replaced when they wore out. In a world with gyms where the cost per month is less than buying a pizza, I can't see this sort of thing as very useful in a place (like here) where it's too cold to be pleasant for several months of the year, and too hot to be pleasant for another couple of months, and the workout stations aren't all that effective anyway.

    What *is* popular here IME, is the school systems' adult education fitness classes, and/or low-cost open gym/weight-room or swimming pool evening hours . . . when we're not in the midst of a pandemic, anyway.
  • tnh2o
    tnh2o Posts: 146 Member
    When I lived in a midsized city my world was pretty much within two miles of my house - grocery stores, restaurants, library, drug store, medical care and more. Now I live in the country and anything within a 2 HOUR drive is an option. Walking or biking around here would involve roads with no shoulders and unrestrained dogs. The heat and the hills I can manage.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,974 Member


    When I was in China, there were huge outdoor adult playgrounds - and many many local people using them.
    They were sort of a meeting place for retired people - people used the equipment as well as playing ad hoc physical group games like handball and sedentary games like cards or backgammon or doing calligraphy with water painting on the ground
    People spent many hours there.

    Here in Australia there are sometimes little sections of adult equipment next to the children's equipment or sometimes stand alone along the beach boardwalk or similar.

    Ive noticed adults using them for a few minutes, never a serious workout, more just a little have a try thing or occupy yourself while your child is on the children's stuff.

  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    IMO, this is an over generalization. I have always lived in areas where one can use public transportation and walk for all shopping, and still do. I lived here for 14 years before getting a car and only did bc I have to drive to the 'burbs sometimes for work, wanted to be able to do longer road trips w/o renting a car, and wanted to be able to go to biking paths in the 'burbs (there are also lots in the city). I walk a ton for shopping and to get to friends or for public transit (my L stop isn't so close, although I could bus to it, walking is a nice way to get in steps).

    Lots of people where I live bike a lot (I sometimes do), and there is a well-used Divvy system. I know you bike a lot, so that puzzles me more about your over generalization about people in the US. I know many who don't even own cars, as I didn't for years, and my sister and a good friend don't even have licenses.

    I hoped it wouldn't come to this, but I'm going to tell the truth. "A pedestrian in America is someone who just parked their car" is a joke I heard years ago and mostly forgot, but became relevant again when somebody asked if Americans really refuse to walk. I hoped people would just think I was funny and clever. 🙂
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,555 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    IMO, this is an over generalization. I have always lived in areas where one can use public transportation and walk for all shopping, and still do. I lived here for 14 years before getting a car and only did bc I have to drive to the 'burbs sometimes for work, wanted to be able to do longer road trips w/o renting a car, and wanted to be able to go to biking paths in the 'burbs (there are also lots in the city). I walk a ton for shopping and to get to friends or for public transit (my L stop isn't so close, although I could bus to it, walking is a nice way to get in steps).

    Lots of people where I live bike a lot (I sometimes do), and there is a well-used Divvy system. I know you bike a lot, so that puzzles me more about your over generalization about people in the US. I know many who don't even own cars, as I didn't for years, and my sister and a good friend don't even have licenses.

    I hoped it wouldn't come to this, but I'm going to tell the truth. "A pedestrian in America is someone who just parked their car" is a joke I heard years ago and mostly forgot, but became relevant again when somebody asked if Americans really refuse to walk. I hoped people would just think I was funny and clever. 🙂

    I have this very vague memory of hearing someone tell this joke (Jay Leno?), but instead of "America," it was "Los Angeles."
  • goldenxbeauty
    goldenxbeauty Posts: 154 Member
    For me, yes.
    I grew up in Toronto area. Had a gym membership for much of my life and never used it because I didnt want to walk there and back.

    Now I'm in rural northern Ontario. Closest gym is an hr each way but my lifestyle forces me too be functionally fit, moreso than I've ever been in my life.
    For example, if i dont cut, split and stack 10 cord of firewood each summer, we freeze. If we dont hunt, grow and fish, we spend extraordinary amounts of money on food when it's better spent elsewhere.

    My hobbies are mainly outdoor because that's what this area is known for is the outdoor opportunities.
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,276 Member
    edited August 2021
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    IMO, this is an over generalization. I have always lived in areas where one can use public transportation and walk for all shopping, and still do. I lived here for 14 years before getting a car and only did bc I have to drive to the 'burbs sometimes for work, wanted to be able to do longer road trips w/o renting a car, and wanted to be able to go to biking paths in the 'burbs (there are also lots in the city). I walk a ton for shopping and to get to friends or for public transit (my L stop isn't so close, although I could bus to it, walking is a nice way to get in steps).

    Lots of people where I live bike a lot (I sometimes do), and there is a well-used Divvy system. I know you bike a lot, so that puzzles me more about your over generalization about people in the US. I know many who don't even own cars, as I didn't for years, and my sister and a good friend don't even have licenses.

    Your comments on vehicle ownership relfect very specific personal experience. In the US 91% of households have at least one vehicle.

    In fact almost 25%;of US households have 3 or more vehicles compared to the 9% that have none.
  • qhob_89
    qhob_89 Posts: 105 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    IMO, this is an over generalization. I have always lived in areas where one can use public transportation and walk for all shopping, and still do. I lived here for 14 years before getting a car and only did bc I have to drive to the 'burbs sometimes for work, wanted to be able to do longer road trips w/o renting a car, and wanted to be able to go to biking paths in the 'burbs (there are also lots in the city). I walk a ton for shopping and to get to friends or for public transit (my L stop isn't so close, although I could bus to it, walking is a nice way to get in steps).

    Lots of people where I live bike a lot (I sometimes do), and there is a well-used Divvy system. I know you bike a lot, so that puzzles me more about your over generalization about people in the US. I know many who don't even own cars, as I didn't for years, and my sister and a good friend don't even have licenses.

    Your comments on vehicle ownership relfect very specific personal experience. In the US 91% of households have at least one vehicle.

    In fact almost 25%;of US households have 3 or more vehicles compared to the 9% that have none.

    Poster lives in Chicago, where they reference living for 14 years before owning a car. Don’t think there was a general statement being made about vehicle ownership outside of experience in the city. I live in the suburbs and drilled (military) like 20 miles South of downtown Chicago for the last 5 years, a lot of my soldiers were from Chicago. Most did not own a car and a handful did not have or maintain their driver’s licenses. Conversations I had about this were it was far more inconvenient and expensive to own one in the city than to walk, use public transportation, or Uber, etc. Due to difficulty finding and cost of parking, insurance premium, and car payment most wouldn’t bother. Also Chicago winters are brutal, who wants to dig a car out of street parking in the city?!
  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,276 Member
    edited August 2021
    qhob_89 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I agree with Turtlemummy that herd mentality is definitely an influence.
    I just read an article from a newspaper that stated people in the States consider a 30 minute walk too far!
    I find that unbelievable and no wonder obesity is an epidemic there!
    I'll try and post the link.

    In USA a pedestrian is a person who just parked their car.

    IMO, this is an over generalization. I have always lived in areas where one can use public transportation and walk for all shopping, and still do. I lived here for 14 years before getting a car and only did bc I have to drive to the 'burbs sometimes for work, wanted to be able to do longer road trips w/o renting a car, and wanted to be able to go to biking paths in the 'burbs (there are also lots in the city). I walk a ton for shopping and to get to friends or for public transit (my L stop isn't so close, although I could bus to it, walking is a nice way to get in steps).

    Lots of people where I live bike a lot (I sometimes do), and there is a well-used Divvy system. I know you bike a lot, so that puzzles me more about your over generalization about people in the US. I know many who don't even own cars, as I didn't for years, and my sister and a good friend don't even have licenses.

    Your comments on vehicle ownership relfect very specific personal experience. In the US 91% of households have at least one vehicle.

    In fact almost 25%;of US households have 3 or more vehicles compared to the 9% that have none.

    Poster lives in Chicago, where they reference living for 14 years before owning a car. Don’t think there was a general statement being made about vehicle ownership outside of experience in the city. I live in the suburbs and drilled (military) like 20 miles South of downtown Chicago for the last 5 years, a lot of my soldiers were from Chicago. Most did not own a car and a handful did not have or maintain their driver’s licenses. Conversations I had about this were it was far more inconvenient and expensive to own one in the city than to walk, use public transportation, or Uber, etc. Due to difficulty finding and cost of parking, insurance premium, and car payment most wouldn’t bother. Also Chicago winters are brutal, who wants to dig a car out of street parking in the city?!

    I posted more as a point of clarification to those outside the US. The no car experiences @lemurcat2 mentions and those of the people you drilled with are not common for the vast majority of US residents.