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Afterwords #4: Improving walkability for a healthier region

Afterwords consists of footnotes, references and outtakes from my column contributions published in Metro News Vancouver. Read my February 3, 2015 column Congestion Improvement Sales Tax a chance to rediscover walking over at Metro News Vancouver.

I was excited to hear the news when Dr. Patricia Daly announced support for a yes vote in the transit referendum on health grounds. It’s a topic I have grown to feel very strongly about, from a multitude of angles.

Perhaps the biggest factor in this is that in March 2014, I started working at bcdiabetes.ca and going on daily walks as part of the Walk the Walk program about three to four times a week with the diabetes nurse. She invites her patients on these walks and will often talk to them about how they are managing. These walks have exposed me to so many parts of the experience of having diabetes that I had never known or thought about, not having it myself or living with someone who does. I didn’t know, for example, how common it is for people with diabetes to also suffer from depression, or how much stigma people with it face.

And I know from my own experience of having been sedentary just how subjective the perception of obstacles to being active can be. The idea that everyone tells the same story about what it means to prioritize then take action to get and stay healthy strikes me as profoundly unhelpful. I’m really glad our health authorities are being thoughtful on this front.

Some links to references:

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