Can architecture make you fat? That’s the question posed by the Guardian in an article of the same name. The answer: yep. Too many elevators, escalators, and, in certain buildings, support beams made of chocolate fudge. And to help fight the UK’s new battle with something we’re all too familiar with here in the US, a rising wave of obesity, they’re recommending architects and planners do something about it. Here’s a bit:
So what, exactly, can architects do? For most of us, exercise is something that happens during the course of the day – while we are shopping, commuting, walking the dog. Planners need to maximize the potential for casual exercise by incorporating cycle paths and pedestrian areas into their designs. Parks and other green spaces encourage people to exercise, and if a shop is within walking distance, people are more likely to leave the car behind. Offices can be made more fitness-friendly with the addition of a bike park and a few showers. Even a signpost to the stairs is a step in the right direction; in too many modern office blocks, the stairwells are hidden away like dirty secrets.