To balance out the bike love from yesterday.
Walking in America is a bit like sex: Everybody’s doing it, but nobody knows how much.
~ Tom Vanderbilt, Why don’t Americans walk more?
In the recent Slate series, Vanderbilt explores the phenomena of a country that has forgotten how to walk, perhaps that it can walk, and, in reality, that it does walk. We simply don’t do a good job of valuing the walking we do (VTPI). Still, we know that Americans walk less than any other industrialized country. From the article linked to above:
Studies employing pedometers have found that where the average Australian takes 9,695 steps per day….the average Japanese 7,168, and the average Swiss 9,650, the average American manages only 5,117 steps. Where a child in Britain, according to one study, takes 12,000 to 16,000 steps per day, a similar U.S. study found a range between 11,000 and 13,000.”
We basically are training each successive generation not to walk. How do we do this? In part, Vanderbilt argues in part 4, it is in the design of our communities (Slate).
MyWHaT Note: Thank you for those who have seen my latest column in the Traverse City Area Business News and mentioned to me that you appreciated it. Good to hear people are reading it! That piece, in the June issue, is along these lines and ends: “The first step is admitting that we are walkers. Walk: You’re designed to.”
If you don’t read the TCBNews, no worries, I’ll publish it here in July.