ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 PL1 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.PL1

Designing Cities and Homes as Exercise Machines: Helping endocrinologists to fight metabolic disease

Dr Avi Friedman


The obesity epidemic has affected many nations. In Canada, by some estimates, more than 6 million Canadian adults age 20 to 64 are overweight and nearly 3 million are obese. The common tendency is to blame people’s dietary choices and sedentary habits. Yet, it can also be argued that poor urban planning practices have largely contributed to a lack of active lifestyles. Low-density suburban sprawl, long commutes, diminishing land for green area and the elimination of sidewalks from local streets are some aspects that have led to reduced physical activity, among residents of all ages. Reversing course and regarding the community and the home as exercise machines need to be a top priority of urban planners and public health officials. Public transit, commercial hubs walking distance away, jogging tracks, bike paths and play spaces should become mandatory features of new residential development. In his presentation, Dr. Avi Friedman, Professor of Architecture at McGill University, recipient of the World Habitat Award and a practicing architect, will illustrate the decline of community planning for healthy living and outline measures that can be reintroduced to foster active lifestyles.

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