Community Factors that Promote Health

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There are many factors to consider when choosing a community to buy a home in. Aside from your budget, you need to consider the safety of the area and the accessibility of commercial areas.

Another factor to consider is how your chosen suburbs promote its residents’ well-being. Where you live has a significant impact on your health, and you have a higher risk of developing health problems if you’re exposed to poor neighbourhood conditions.

How do you know if the community promotes its residents’ health? Here are four factors you should look for:

Availability of Walkable Areas

A walkable community allows its residents to easily get around the area without using public or private transport. Walking provides numerous health and economic benefits. People are encouraged to walk more if an area is conducive to walking. To know if a neighbourhood promotes walkability, check the presence of footpaths and sidewalks in the area, accessibility of buildings and the maintenance of roadways.

Promotion of Active Transport

Accessibility to the area is another factor to consider in choosing a community to buy a house in. For example, if you bought a house and land package in Donnybrook and you work in Melbourne’s central business district, you can choose to drive to work or take public transport.

Another choice of getting around is by active transport such as cycling. Compared to public transport, active transport promotes a more active lifestyle. It also delivers health benefits by contributing to lower air and noise pollution.

A community that encourages active transport invests in cycling infrastructure. There are connected bicycle networks and cycling lanes on employment hubs, retail areas and public transport stops. Having separated cycle lanes and controlled crossings also enhance the safety of cyclists.

couple hugging each other in front of new house

Presence of Green, Open Spaces

A 2018 study emphasised that the presence of green, open spaces have a significant impact on a community’s physical and mental health. Researchers discovered that living in, or close to, green spaces are associated with health benefits, such as reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease. People living close to nature also sleep longer and are less stressed.

Having parks and gardens in the community has recreational benefits. Community members can organise sports and fitness events, which also promote a healthy lifestyle. Open spaces also encourage passive recreation, giving residents an outdoor place to socialise.

Accessibility to Fresh Food

Aside from physical exercise, diet has a major impact on a person’s health. Access to fresh food is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

When choosing a community to build a house in, look for the proximity of supermarkets and fresh food retailers. Communities close to more fast food outlets and convenience stores have higher rates of obesity, which could lead to cardiovascular diseases, stroke and arthritis. Of course, it’s nice to have a variety of food to choose from, even fast food, but a good neighbourhood has access to good quality produce and ingredients.

Living a healthy lifestyle is more than just exercising and eating well. Your health is also determined by where you live. Being in a community that encourages you to be healthy is an ideal place to live in.

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