HBO Documentary: Walking, Biking Part of Cure for Obesity Epidemic

May 16, 2012 in Education by bikewalkadmin

The four-part HBO Documentary “The Weight of the Nation” prescribes more walking, biking and other forms of physical activity as a cure for the U.S. obesity crisis.

Oklahoma is the seventh most obese state in the nation, but it’s number one in adult obesity growth rate. That means we are better at getting fatter faster than anyone in the country.

The HBO documentary delves into our nation’s weight problem and finds that increases in calorie consumption coupled with a lack of physical activity are the root cause. Better diets will help you lose weight, but physical activity is needed to keep that weight off long-term.

“The question is what changed in the last 30 years to make this obesity epidemic happen,” says Robert Lustig, MD, a Neuroendocrinologist with the University of California, San Francisco.

The increase of car-dependency in our communities is a major factor in the reduction of physical activity.

“We don’t walk, we don’t bike, and it’s cut off hundreds of calories of physical activity,” says Barry Popkin, PhD, an economist and Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

More than 75% of Americans drive to work — a 300% increase since 1960. In 1969, 42% of children walked or biked to school. Today, more than 80% are driven to school. Currently, less than 5% of adults meet the minimum guidelines for physical activity.

“In fact, roughly one in four adults gets no physical activity at all,” says Eric Finkelstein, PhD an economist at Duke University.

“We’ve engineered physical activity out of our everyday lives,” According to William Dietz, MD, PhD, the Director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our work as adults has been increasingly sedentary.”

Much of our sedentary lifestyles comes about from the built environment, one that prioritizes the moving of motor vehicles as fast as possible while ignoring more active modes of transportation.

Cars dominate so much of our lives that one child in the documentary who lives in a poor community with few parks nearby laments, “all these parking lots are, like, kind of the park we have.”

Karl Dean, Mayor of Nashville, is working to change his city into one that makes living a healthy lifestyle “the easy choice.”

Dean isn’t just talking either. He’s walking the walk by pouring $13 million into sidewalks. Nashville also has received $7.5 million in grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for obesity prevention efforts, building on their work of improving bike lanes, sidewalks and parks.

“We have to invest in quality of life. People want to live in a city that’s healthy, that’s clean, that’s walkable and bikeable, that’s full of places where they can exercise and enjoy fresh air,” says Dean.

“We know that to be healthier we need to eat better and exercise more. And how you make that part of the city is really the challenge.”

Urbanized Documentary Starts Tonight at Circle Cinema

February 3, 2012 in Education by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – The feature-length documentary, Urbanized, about the issues and strategies behind urban design will be screening in Tulsa at the Circle Cinema beginning Feb. 3. and running through Feb. 9. The documentary features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.

Tonight’s showing will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by James Wagner from INCOG and featuring Dawn Warrick, City of Tulsa Planning and Urban Development, and Rebecca Caldwell & Alexis Shahadi from OU-Urban Design Studio.

The Wednesday, February 8, 7pm showing will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jamie Jamieson of the Pearl District and Transportation Advisory Board. The panel will also feature Bob Sober from PLANiTULSA, District 4 City Councilor Blake Ewing, and possibly Lee Anne Zeigler of the Foundation for Tulsa Architecture.

More than half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking.

The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are fast becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain.

Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren’t created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

Urbanized is the third part of Gary Hustwit’s design film trilogy, joining Helvetica and Objectified, which have both screened at Circle Cinema.

Urbanized Documentary Coming to Circle Cinema

December 15, 2011 in Education by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – The feature-length documentary, Urbanized, about the issues and strategies behind urban design will be screening in Tulsa at the Circle Cinema beginning Feb. 3. The documentary features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.

More than half the world’s population now lives in an urban area, and 75% will call a city home by 2050. But while some cities are experiencing explosive growth, others are shrinking.

The challenges of balancing housing, mobility, public space, civic engagement, economic development, and environmental policy are fast becoming universal concerns. Yet much of the dialogue on these issues is disconnected from the public domain.

Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? Unlike many other fields of design, cities aren’t created by any one specialist or expert. There are many contributors to urban change, including ordinary citizens who can have a great impact improving the cities in which they live. By exploring a diverse range of urban design projects around the world, Urbanized frames a global discussion on the future of cities.

Urbanized is the third part of Gary Hustwit’s design film trilogy, joining Helvetica and Objectified, which have both screened at Circle Cinema.

The True Cost of Commuting

December 12, 2011 in Education by bikewalkadmin

Click image to enlarge
Cost of Commuting Infographic
Via: Streamline Refinance

Tips For Driving Around Bicyclists

November 18, 2011 in Bicycling, Education by bikewalkadmin

TULSA – The last place you might expect to find bicycling safety information would be a car review site. But that’s exactly what you’ll find at U.K.-based website Carbuzz.co.uk., where a car-focused site has an article titled “What drivers can do to be more cyclist aware.”

1900 Vintage car being stopped by policeman on bicycle

(photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Some of the tips include giving bicyclists room on the road (Oklahoma has a 3-foot passing law).

Allow plenty of space

When overtaking a cyclist you’re required to give them as much room as you would a car. They may need to swerve to avoid hazards. Always anticipate that there may be a pothole, oily, wet or icy patch or some other obstruction. Cyclists endanger themselves by cycling in straight lines!
Don’t drive too close behind a cyclist as you may not be able to stop in time if they come off their bike or do something abruptly. Unless you have an entire clear, empty lane in which to pass, slow down and wait until there is room to pass. Pass them slowly!

 

Another tip talks about bicyclists “taking the lane,” the phrase that means a bicyclist rides in the center of the lane.

 

Cyclists have a right to claim the lane

That’s correct. They have as much right as you do to take up the entire lane. You may think they’re being utterly selfish by doing so, but in fact they’re preventing having an accident. They really aren’t trying to slow you down, it’s just the safest way for them to cycle particularly if there’s a blind bend, a narrowing of the road, a high risk junction, pinch point or traffic lights ahead. Additionally if there’s a narrowing of the road, they’re stopping you squeezing through far too cosily beside them.

 

Cyclists should never cycle in the gutter as it gives no room for avoiding obstacles and leaves them no room to fall if an accident occurs, meaning they could go straight under your wheels. Not nice.

And some of the best advice to help drivers become more aware of bicyclists:

Get on a bike!

Not until you experience what it’s like to be a cyclist on a busy road will you truly be able to empathise with them and realise how careless drivers can be at times. Cyclists can too be careless, but it usually ends in them getting hurt, not you!