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Urban design can boost activity and health

Urban design can boost activity and health
March 8, 2012

The design of cities and buildings can address Australia's obesity crisis, say the supporters of a new Tasmanian degree in public health.

Heart Foundation Australian President Peter Sexton has helped design new University of Tasmania courses, which boast an Australia-first focus on the built environment and its effects on health.

Dr Sexton said a wealth of studies showed how urban planning and the design of buildings could make a measurable difference to a community's physical and mental health, stating "the built environment has always been important for public health for example, food-safety, vaccination, sewerage."

While people a century ago had to be convinced that closing over sewers and giving vaccinations would save lives, now people could learn that design that encouraged exercise and recreation could also save lives, as chronic disease became the big killer.

Dr Sexton added "facilities that encourage exercise and community events means healthier and happier people and better health statistics.

"It means making sure more people have access to parks, can walk, cycle, have access to good-quality leisure facilities and that they feel safe when they go out, which means well-lit areas."

Building styles, including the design of hospitals, could increase patients' recuperation.

The graduate certificate in public health, which began at UTAS this semester, requires only a degree in any field. No prior health knowledge is required.

Former Tasmanian Government architect Peter Poulet said just before leaving his role in January that the degree was hugely important to the design of Tasmania's cities and the health of its people.

For more information go to http://bit.ly/xQnTlU 

28th December 2011 - FOUNDATION CHIEF URGES AUSTRALIANS TO MAKE THE MOST OF ‘PARKS FOR PEOPLE’

10th May 2011 - PARKS ESSENTIAL FOR HUMAN HEALTH

19th April 2010 - HEART FOUNDATION SLAMS COUNCIL ‘SWEAT TAXES’

9th April 2010 - HEART FOUNDATION LOCAL GOVERNMENT AWARDS 

16th April 2010 - PARKS A KEY TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

27th June 2008 - PARKS FORUM HIGHLIGHTS VALUE OF PARKS


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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