Americans who live in walkable neighborhoods are more involved with their communities, more trusting, and have a higher quality of life, suggests a new study from the University of New Hampshire. Having a community that encourages walking and biking is one of the goals of Eat Smart Move More York County.
For the study, author Shannon Rogers and colleagues interviewed 700 residents in 20 neighborhoods in two New Hampshire cities about the number of locations they could reach by foot in their community, their trust in their local community, participation in community activities, and socializing with friends.
In addition to being more involved and trusting, the researchers found that those living in walkable neighborhoods were more likely to report being in good health and happier than those in less walkable neighborhoods.
“Walkability has been linked to quality of life in other studies,” the authors write. “Walkability may also enhance social capital by providing the means and locations for individuals to connect, share information, and interact with those that they might not otherwise meet.”
The study is published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.