Light Rail Transit and Healthy Lifestyles – Is there a Connection?


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There are currently many statistics to prove that a majority of people are overweight. In order to correct this issue, we need to find out why people are not selecting more active lifestyles. If we don’t have access to quick transportation systems to get to and from work, then we will use our own cars on a regular basis. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle. According to the College of Family Physicians, this contributes greatly to obesity and poor health. Most people who commute by car each day do not carve out time for walking or other physical activity. City planners and health experts should get together to ensure the population has access to efficient public transit in order to increase their activity level.

A change in mind set is what we really need to achieve a higher activity level. Most cities have adopted a City Wide Walking Program as an invitation with friends to enjoy the cities many amenities. In addition, fitness facilities have cooperated to open their doors to free use of their facilities for a certain period each year. This encourages those who want to try out a class to do so before actually committing to joining for the whole year. This type of program is generally referred to as Open Doors.

Corporate facilities generally provide some type of physical fitness area. However, they do not encourage their employees to use it. It is usually those who generally are physically active that take advantage of having a facility at their work site. Those employees who would benefit more from starting an activity program are shy to use the work site facilities. This feeling emanates from having to see their work colleagues in a possible embarrassing environment for those that feel that they are out of shape. Therefore, the corporate fitness facility does not answer the question of improving the activity level of the workforce.

What would really be of use is to provide classes geared specifically for those who are not active. These classes would include general stretching and tools to cope with stress in the workplace. These tools would be meditation in the workplace and writing therapy in the workplace. These programs would actually take the sedentary population to a new level and improve their workplace productivity.

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