As if there weren't enough benefits of living in a walkable community, I recently learned of yet another one. According to an article published on the Huffington Post website last week, people who live in walkable communities are significantly less likely to develop diabetes.
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, both in Toronto, followed the one million-plus Toronto residents between the ages of 30 and 64 for a five year period. They found that the people who lived in less walkable neighborhoods had a staggering 50% greater chance of developing diabetes than those who lived in more walkable neighborhoods. Walkability was determined by population density, connectedness of streets, and proximity to stores and other destinations.
Now, I'm not saying that simply moving to a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood will prevent diabetes; factors like diet and family history are obviously important. But it makes sense that living in a neighborhood where exercise can easily be incorporated into one's daily routine is healthier than a sedentary, car-dependent lifestyle. While Toronto is certainly a terrific city, you don't need to go to Canada to find such a neighborhood. As a New Jersey Realtor with an expertise in walkable suburbs, I can show you some right here in the U.S.A.