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Cities with more bikers and walkers have lower health risks

A recent study has found cities with more people who bike or walk to work have lower percentages of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

The study, features information found from 2011 and 2012 from the Alliance for Biking and Walking, it also found that in cities where drivers are used to sharing the road with those who bike and walk typically have a lower bike and pedestrian fatality rate.

The Benchmarking Report in Washington, D.C. reports bike and walking rates throughout the country, in the 50 most populated cities and in 17 smaller cities.

The study has found that Memphis and Detroit have the highest rates of obesity in the larger cities, with 36.8 percent and 33 percent, respectively. These cities also have some of the lowest bike and walking rates, coming in with 2.1 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Oakland and San Francisco were found to have the lowest obesity rate at a combined 18.6 percent and higher than average biking and walking rates.

On the other hand, the report found that cities such as New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia have above average obesity rates, despite being some of the top cities where bikers and walkers are prevalent.

As far as bike and pedestrian fatality rates, the cities “with higher pedestrian commuting rates have lower overall pedestrian fatality rates and vice versa,” the study reports.

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