Can your home be good for your health? It can if it’s designed to be.
Blue Sea Development, which has built thousands of affordable and sustainable housing developments in New York State, places a priority upon health when designing homes and communities. As a PHA partner, Blue Sea has promised to incorporate Active Design strategies that encourage greater physical fitness and better access to transportation and healthcare into 80 percent of its affordable housing projects over the next several years. This translates into nearly 800 affordable housing units in the New York metropolitan area.
Healthier homes include such features as indoor and outdoor space for physical activity, such as gardens, playgrounds or rooms with exercise equipment accessible to residents of all ages. It means brighter, more appealing, well-lit staircases adorned with artwork or decorative graphics. It means better walking paths and sidewalks and bike storage. And it means easily accessible programs such as healthy cooking and no-cost exercise or gardening classes to encourage residents to work healthier habits into their daily routines.
Studies show buildings designed to keep people moving can do so. Residents of an active design building in the Bronx increased use stairway usage 12 percent, for example, and residents overall maintained their body weight, compared to those in buildings lacking these features who gained weight.
Our bodies are designed to move and when the place you live is designed with that in mind, it makes it easier to fit physical activity into your everyday life. My children don’t see it as exercise because they’re growing up with it. To them it’s just playtime.