Have you been on a pelican crossing with someone in their 80s, worrying if both of you will cross before the lights change?
Tried manoeuvring a person in a wheelchair up a kerbstone or worried that running on a badly paved street might lead to a twisted ankle?
Our environment, whether that’s the transport we use, streets we walk along, or how our homes are designed, can help or hinder our health and wellbeing – and that of our patients.
An article on page 30, looking at the part physios can play in enhancing the quality of what town planners call the ‘urban landscape’, is a timely reminder that good health is about more than healthcare.
It’s also about positive ways of improving public health by making the environment a safe place in which to exercise, with design blueprints giving access for all.
These factors can help people to walk to the shops, rather than choosing the car. They can allow children to play in designated safe areas – not just in parks but on roads where car access has been blocked off.
A recent survey published in the Lancet, led by James Sallis from the University of California, showed that people walked more if they lived in relatively densely populated areas, with shops and services nearby, a range of public transport stops, and parks.
In parts of London, a ‘mini-Holland’ experiment has led to cars being banned from some through roads, In my neighbourhood, it’s made a huge difference and makes me want to walk or cycle more.
And thinking about those less able than ourselves is key. After all, how many patients end up in A&E after falling over broken paving stones, for example?
- Lynn Eaton managing editor Frontline and head of CSP member communications firstname.lastname@example.org
AuthorLynn Eaton managing editor Frontline and head of CSP member communications
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