Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's OK to run down tourists!

In fact, it’s good for my health and will help me to live longer! It’s true because NY magazine told me so in their new feature - Why New Yorkers Live Longer . Don’t believe me? Well read for yourself. Here is my favorite quote:

When I ask what the X factor is—where the “excess life” is coming from—Frieden goes over to his desk and returns with a clear plastic statuette. It’s from the American Podiatric Medical Association and Prevention magazine: BEST WALKING CITY, 2006.

“We’ve won it a couple of years in a row,” he tells me with a grin. He’s got a bunch of them kicking around.

Walking? This isn’t quite as facile an explanation as it sounds. Scientists who study urban health argue that it’s not just that we walk more—it’s the way we walk that has a surprising spillover effect on life spans. Researchers have long known that people here walked fast—far faster than anyone else in the country. Indeed, the easiest way to tell a New Yorker from an out-of-towner is by walking speed: The natives blast down the sidewalk at blitzkrieg pace, and the visitors mosey along like pack mules. Eleanor Simonsick, a Baltimore-based epidemiologist, knew that regular walking is a powerful way to maintain your health. But she began to wonder, a question very germane to us in New York: Does the speed at which you walk also affect your health?

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