247191 It is good to walk . Rebuilding and designing cities to make physical activity normal, safe and pleasant, with special focus on Colombia and Brazil

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:06 AM

Luis Fernando Gomez, Senior Officer , División de Salud, Fundación FES Social, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia
Enrique Jacoby, MD MPH , Regional Advisor, Healthy Eating & Active Living, Pan American Health Organization, Washington D.C., DC
A prime cause of overweight and obesity, and accompaning diseases, is physical inactivity. Behind this are urban environments designed in favor of private motorized transport. These make walking, cycling and running unpleasant and even dangerous. Substantial increases of physical activity at population level require the redesign of cities. This view is confirmed in the 2009 WCRF/AICR report Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention, and its executive summaries for Brazil and Spanish Latin America produced with the Brazilian National Cancer Institute (INCA), and the Pan American Health Organization. These recommend that governments at all levels, from national to municipal, do what they can to ensure that built and external environments are designed and maintained so as to facilitate physical activity, and to enable closer daily destinations. This is in sharp contrast to the usual car-dependent urban sprawl, causing congestion, pollution, sedentarism, and ill-health. In Latin America a number of cities have made remarkable progress. These include Bogotá and Medellin in Colombia, León, Guadalajara and Mexico City in Mexico, and Belo Horizonte and Curitiba in Brazil. This presentation will summarize the results of their achievements, with special reference to research conducted in Bogotá, and that of Rodrigo Siqueira Reis in Curitiba,Brazil. Also deserves special mention, the Recreational Ciclovia scheme adopted by many Latin American cities,in which main roads are regularly closed to traffic, in favor of walkers and cyclists.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identity a number of big cities that have been redesigned and rebuilt to give a first priority to walkers, cyclists and runners. Compare the opportunities and obstacles with those in other countries,such as the US. Design a plan for a selected city in the US

Keywords: Urban Health, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have conducted several studies in Bogotá about built environment and physical activity
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.