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How the urban environment impacts physical activity

Physical activity is essential for public health. It can prevent premature death and a number of diseases, e.g. cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes. Physical activity also boosts our mental health and the sense of well-being.

The options for physical activity are not limited to indoor facilities, i.e. sports facilities, indoor pools, or fitness centres. There are also outdoor options, where our activity level to a large extent is determined by the environment, we move in. Bike lanes are an invitation to ride a bike, for example. Footpaths encourage walking rather than using the car, and safe school routes make it easier for parents to decide whether to let children walk or bike to school rather than drive them.

The purpose of this publication is to make it easier for municipal decision-makers and civil servants to make informed decisions about designing the urban environment to encourages everyone to be physically active, regardless of age and social background.

How the urban environment impacts physical activity

Opdateret 19 FEB 2020