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A supportive environment for regular physical activity
  1. Debbie A Lawlor
  1. Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, UK;

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    Regular, physical activity is associated with increased life expectancy and reduced risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and osteoporosis. Activities that can become part of every day life, such as walking or cycling to work or school, are more likely to be sustained than activities that require attendance at specific venues.1 However, supportive environments are likely to be important for such activities.2 Brisbane in Australia’s sunshine state (Queensland) has a supportive climate and over 500 km of dedicated bike and walkways in the city. The large numbers of people walking, running, or cycling on these during peak commuter times (all photos except the bike on the ferry were taken between 7 30 am and 8 00 am on a Monday morning in April 2004) suggests that they provide a supportive environment for regular commuter physical activity. Added incentives are the bike friendly buses, trains, and ferries (see photo of my bike on the City Cat), which carry bikes free of charge.

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