July 27th, 2017

Why an inner-city life is good for your waist-line

At On Forbes, active living is right on your doorstep.

Recent research from the Australian Catholic University’s Institute for Health and Ageing has found that people in inner-city neighbourhoods are less likely to be overweight than people who live in outer suburban areas.

Professor Takemi Sugiyama and his team of researchers tracked more than 2,000 adults living in urban and suburban areas of Adelaide and measured their waist circumference twice over four years.

“What we found was that weight gain was not evenly distributed,” he says.

People living in areas 20 kilometres or more away from the city centre recorded a 2.4cm increase in their waist circumference over four years, compared to 1.2cm for those living nine kilometres or less from the CBD.

Professor Sugiyama says the finding is “alarming” as waist circumference, which measures abdominal fat, is a good indicator of increased risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

We rarely consider that the place we live can have an impact on our weight, but the research reflects how our daily behaviours, such as commuting to work, can make a big difference over time. People who live in outer suburbs tend to be more car-dependent, while those living in inner city areas are more active.

Professor Sugiyam a speculates this is because inner-city dwellers have “more transportation options and shops are closer”.

“It’s about creating compact residential and commercial areas around transportation hubs to allow for more active lifestyles for residents,” he adds.

Not only is On Forbes right in the heart of Canberra’s city, but it will have access to a range of active transport options, including the light rail and a Canberra-first e-bike sharing system.

Art Group and bike sharing platform BYKKO have teamed up to provide 10 electric shared bikes at On Forbes in Turner, with residents able to use the service for free for a trial 12-month period.

BYKKO Founder and Managing Director, Monica Zarafu, says international research has found e-bikes encourage more people to cycle. “Around the world electric bike share stations are delivering proven benefits, encouraging more healthy and active living,” she says.

This is good news for those wanting to combine both an inner-city urban lifestyle together with a healthy and active life.