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Walking Raises Life Expectancy

 - Aug 17, 2007
References: nymag
What images come to mind when you think of New York City? Bustling streets, very cosmopolitan, well dressed individuals? The most notable element often is, that everywhere you look, people are walking. You think of the stereotypical New Yorker, coffee in one hand, nose buried in the newspaper, trench coat blowing behind them as they scuttle off to the office. This hectic, hurried on-the-go lifestyle could be the reason New York residents live longer than those living in other U.S. cities.

A recent article in New York Magazine reported that an NYC resident born in 2004 can expect to live 9 months longer than the average North American. The metropolitan city used to be known for young deaths when problems like AIDS, drugs and homicide were more prominent issues, but the good news is that things have cleaned up in the city and today's kids can expect to live 78.6 years.

Lower fatalities combined with hurried lifestyles that involve a lot of speed-walking through the city are all contributing to the longer lifespan; the average New Yorker is 10 lbs lighter than the average American. Eleanor Simonsick put it well: "When you irritatedly blow past a trio of ambling visitors from Ohio or Iowa on the subway platform, you're not just being an obnoxious New Yorker. You're demonstrating that you're going to outlive themâ€"and enjoy better health while they slowly degrade."

Driving in the city is just way too chaotic, so most New Yorkers opt for walking, even if it's just to the nearest subway station (hello StairMaster) or, if they can afford it, they take a cab. The smoking ban implemented in 2003 helps raise life expectancy rates too, so does last year's ban on trans-fats.

Point is, the chaotic-aggressive lifestyle seems to be working, so next time you're in your own metropolitan core, get in the crowds, raise those elbows, and power on through!