Fit for Life - Healthy Transport Makes Sense



Fit for Life - Healthy Transport Makes Sense

Authors

MaeK1NVEN D and WILKIE E, Glasgow City Council, UK

Description

The true potential for physical inactivity and activity respectively to cause and prevent many human illnesses is becoming increasingly apparent and accepted.

Abstract

The true potential for physical inactivity and activity respectively to cause and prevent many human illnesses is becoming increasingly apparent and accepted.

It is a sobering thought for healthcare professionals that environmental change by various forms of engineering probably has had a much more profound effect on public health than any healthcare system, whose costs continue to rise exponentially.

Obvious examples of this include good housing, sanitation, drainage and water. However, a less desirable by-product of two of the greatest successes in engineering, cars and roads, is physical inactivity - possibly one of today's greatest threats to health. Just as the roads have become clogged with more and more cars, so the arteries of the human body, especially its heart, can become blocked or narrowed by a disease, the origins of which are related to physical inactivity resulting, in part, from excessive dependence on the car for transport.

In 1995 the Roads Department of the former Strathclyde Regional Council (S.R.C.) began the difficult process of trying to change the public's attitude towards the use of the motor car by preparing a series of four leaflets, one for each quadrant of Glasgow, entitled "Fit for Life". The first leaflet coveting the Northwest quadrant of the City was launched in May 1995 with the other three launched at various times during the latter part of 1995 and the early part of 1996. The leaflets were designed to bring to peoples attention ways to get fitter and subsequently healthier within their dally working lives. They recommended that people should consider walking, cycling or jogging to and from work along the existing cycleways and walkways in and around Glasgow, that they should climb stairs at work instead of taking lifts and suggested that they could attain fitness by accumulating exercise throughout the course of the day, without having to make special effort to do so. Advice on a healthy diet was also included as well as highlighting all sports and leisure centres and detailed information on all methods of public transport available throughout the City.

In conjunction with the Fit for Life leaflets the Roads Department also created a series of advertising features supported by a poster campaign to which it gave the name "Healthy Transport Makes Sense". These features covered the benefits of cycling, walking, public transport and car sharing etc.

Publisher

Association for European Transport