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Does where you live influence your weight & fitness?

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Replies

  • qhob_89
    qhob_89 Posts: 105 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    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 experience @lemurcat2 mentions and those of the people you drilled with are not common for the vast majority of US residents.

    Ah, your clarification makes sense. I totally agree that it would not apply to vast majority of the population. I come from west central IL (moved north after HS)- it would be near impossible to get anywhere without a vehicle or someone who owns a vehicle to drive you around. Rural area, no public transportation, 10+ miles for many people to get to the grocery store. I was shocked when people explained the car situation in the city.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 1,034 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    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 experience @lemurcat2 mentions and those of the people you drilled with are not common for the vast majority of US residents.

    Yes. I live in a fairly densely populated area, and walk for most things within 1.5 miles especially in the warmer months (and I was a walker when obese, too, though not as far or as often), but we absolutely have to have a car. I don't mind that - I love living here - but that's just the nature of things given my household size, population density, topography, and climate.

    I kind of waffle between not liking a lot of "automobile culture" but also being fiercely American and independent about transport needs. If worse comes to worse I can pack up my family and our bug out bags and go! :D (this is a joke...mostly.)
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,894 Member
    edited August 2021
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    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.

    I'm sure everyone realizes that some places in the US (especially many big cities) are more likely to be walkable and have public transit options than others (there are lots of places also where you can do a lot by foot even if you need a car for commuting or to get to a variety of places). My point was to avoid generalizations (which is what I was complaining about), not to claim my experience is possible everywhere.

    Like penguinmama, I walked quite a bit on a daily basis prior to losing weight, as well as after.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 26,829 Member
    I admit, I'm interested in the comparatives for car ownership and walking as transportation that others are reporting. I do think that it's inappropriate to attribute differences necessarily to character or the like (laziness, enthusiasm for exercise, whatever). I've already explained that things are so spread out here that walking for most routine errands is impractical (based on the time investment alone). Even though the local folks' preferences will influence density, distribution vs. centralization of shopping districts, public transit, etc., changing that's a slow-rolling thing over longer time spans. The people in a place slowly influence how that place operates, but moving to a place (for job or what-have-you) can quickly influence individual behavior, too.

    I think this is probably one of the more car-centric US states, it having been a center for the auto industry. Every extended family had members who worked in the industry, at its peak, and probably most still do now. Cars, and car enthusiasm, are still pretty big.

    Most of my adult life, my husband and I had one car. That was unusual, and seen as somewhat eccentric, hereabouts. In my social milieu, it's very common - maybe standard - for families to have one car per adult family member, and sometimes more.

    (Common examples of "more": Someone who has a sportscar to drive in summer, but owns a "Winter beater" to drive when the snow and ice come, making a lighter, low-clearance car less practical; a family with a sole proprietor farm or business that might have a van or truck for combined business/personal use; folks who have a big truck to pull a boat or trailer for recreation but drive something more fuel-efficient for work commutes; families who have a van for when both parents and all kids go somewhere, but each parent has a smaller vehicle for work commutes; etc.)

    Here, how many cars/vehicles a family has is not IME tightly linked to whether they sometimes walk for transportation, entertainment, or exercise. That choice is more about the nature of the neighborhoods they live and work in, plus their personal preferences. For example, I worked on a university campus. I biked to work when I lived close, switched to car (dropped off by husband for years, drove myself after widowhood) when I moved further away, but walked relatively often at lunch or after work for errands or meals, up to a few miles on a good day, left the car parked on campus until I went home (or was picked up).
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 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.

    This is a good demonstration of the question behind this thread. @lemurcat2 describes a party common experience among city dwellers. Traffic can be so horrific and parking can be so stressful that even if you own a car it's more convenient not to use it.