Can Streets Make Us Healthy? Open Streets Can

America’s public health crisis has been well documented. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight, and more than 1 in 10 children become obese as early as ages 2 to 5. Boomers have the highest obesity rates of any age group, topping 35 percent in 17 states. Obesity is related to dozens of serious health issues, including diabetes, heart disease and vascular dementia. Traditional public health intervention efforts in the form of nutrition and exercise education and promotion have had …

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, a total of 712 jurisdictions — in 30 states, Washington, D.C., and all of Puerto Rico — now have Complete Streets policies in place. That means any new transportation projects in these areas will, by law, resolution or approved policy follow “a process for selecting, funding, designing and building transportation projects that allow safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.” >> Stay Informed! Subscribe …

Tell Congress Not to Leave Seniors Stranded

The Older Americans Act (OAA) is critical to helping seniors live independently as they age. Last month, the Senate HELP Committee unanimously approved the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill supported by AARP. The bill now awaits a vote in the full Senate. This is the third in a three-part series detailing the importance of programs funded by the OAA to the dignity of seniors across America. How would you get to your doctor’s appointment if you didn’t have a car? …

Making a House a ‘Home for Life’

Meet John and Jane Doe. An active couple in their mid- to late 50s with two married children and four grandchildren, this pair loves their home, community and neighbors. Although they’re still in good health, John is having knee problems and will likely need surgery, which has prompted the duo to starting thinking about the future. Any of this sound familiar? The imaginary Doe family represents the millions of boomers now age 50 and older. It was around their needs …

How to Stay Warm and Save Energy

For people in much of the country, temperatures are going down and utility bills are skyrocketing up. Home heating accounts for about 45 percent of the typical American household’s energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the biggest culprits behind high heating bills is heat loss that occurs through small holes and cracks in the home’s envelope. Though seemingly small, these little escape hatches can drain up to 25 percent of a home’s heat, DOE reports. …

Texas Study: Walkable Communities Really Do Work

It may seem a bit of a disconnect, but Texas, an expansive state connected by hundreds and hundreds of miles of highway, is home to a new study showing that pedestrian-oriented, activity-friendly “walkable communities” result in a healthier and more socially supportive and engaged population. The study, led by Xuemei Zhu, an architecture professor at Texas A&M University, surveyed 449 residents of Mueller, a walkable, transit-oriented development in Austin, Texas. Zhu and her researchers found that when the residents compared …