Lower Levels of Diabetes in Walkable Neighborhoods

We have been told time and again that exercise drastically reduces one's chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. But did you realize that where you live might influence whether you develop diabetes?

A recent study done by Dr. Gillian Booth, researcher at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, shows that people who live in more walkable neighborhoods of Ontario have a much lower risk of developing diabetes.

How the Study Worked

The study tracked nearly all the adults living in Ontario, with a focus on the adults without diabetes, between 2005 and 2010. Over those five years, 2.9% of people living in the least-walkable neighborhoods developed diabetes, while only 2.2% of people living in the most-walkable neighborhoods developed the disease.

It is important to acknowledge that more walkable neighborhoods are often home to people with more opportunity for healthy behaviors. Dr. Ethan Berke, associate professor at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire, notes, "Whether [the discrepancy is] due to social capital or opportunities for healthy behaviors, such as physical activity, or opportunities for access to healthy foods isn't clear, because a walkable neighborhood is usually associated with a lot of those things."

This study serves as proof that where you live drastically impacts how healthy you are and your chances of getting sick.

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