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Wednesday, February 22 2017 @ 05:26 PM UTC

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Teach them early to sit and be inactive

Health & EnvironmentThe big problem with early childhood education
By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post


Research in child development over decades as well as modern neuroscience clearly show that young children learn best when they are active. That means they get to put their hands on things, interact with other kids and adults, move a lot, create, play. But in the current school reform era, that’s not what is happening in too many classrooms. The emphasis is on “rigorous instruction,” and young children are forced to sit at their desks doing academic work — sometimes with little or no recess and/or sufficient physical education.
...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/12/12/this-is-how-to-help-young-children-learn-to-love-school/?utm_term=.cd7ae1d85464
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STREET TREES 101

Health & Environment-> Street trees are essential for strong walk appeal almost anywhere in the US, which makes them a fundamental part of the public frontage from the property line to the edge of the street. A Congress for the New Urbanism Public Square article provides a detailed primer on the importance of street trees to sustainability and walkability, and considerations in selecting and placing street trees. http://bit.ly/2igiTQg

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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U.S. life expectancy declines for the first time since 1993

Health & EnvironmentBy Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post

For the first time in more than two decades, life expectancy for Americans declined last year — a troubling development linked to a panoply of worsening health problems in the United States.
...

“I think we should be very concerned,” said Princeton economist Anne Case, who called for thorough research on the increase in deaths from heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States. “This is singular. This doesn’t happen.”
...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-life-expectancy-declines-for-the-first-time-since-1993/2016/12/07/7dcdc7b4-bc93-11e6-91ee-1adddfe36cbe_story.html
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US REPORT CARD ON KIDS’ PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: 21% MEET GUIDELINES

Health & Environment-> The National Physical Activity Plan Alliance has released the "2016 United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth" (http://bit.ly/2fPIGwJ). Only 21% of American children are meeting current Physical Activity guidelines. The report card discusses how the U.S. is performing on 10 key indicators and what can be done to improve these outcomes in the future. http://bit.ly/2gwl2DR

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues

Health & Environment[B' Spokes: Just a reminder to get your kids out walking and biking. Schools are not setup to provide all that is necessary.]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/09/01/the-decline-of-play-in-preschoolers-and-the-rise-in-sensory-issues/
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Traffic pollution tied to slower cognition in schoolchildren

Health & EnvironmentVia CBC News

Children who attend school in heavy traffic areas may show slower cognitive development and lower memory test scores, Spanish researchers have found.

About 21,000 premature deaths are attributed to air pollution in Canada each year, according to the Canadian Medical Association. The detrimental effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health and on the lungs are well documented and now researchers are looking at its effects on the brain.
...

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/health/traffic-pollution-tied-to-slower-cognition-in-schoolchildren-1.2980163
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Waiting for the perfect proof of what works

Health & Environment"The evidence base on the clinical and behavioral interventions to reduce obesity is far from complete, and ongoing investment in research is an imperative. However, in many cases this requirement is proving a barrier to action. It need not be so. Rather than wait for perfect proof of what works, we should experiment with solutions, especially in the many areas where interventions are low risk. We have enough knowledge to do more."

Source: <a href="http://bit.ly/1tDdYEc">http://bit.ly/1tDdYEc</a>;

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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LIVING LONGER BY SAFER DRIVING, LESS SMOKING, & LESS DRINKING

Health & Environmentby Mark Plotz
-&gt; This article could have been titled: &quot;Gains in Life Expectancy Slowed by Obesity, Shootings, and Overdoses.&quot; A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research examined preventable deaths for the period 1960-2010 and its conclusion is troubling: the longevity gained from our public health wins (safer cars, less smoking, less drinking) has been nearly cancelled out by the public health battles we are losing (obesity, shootings, and drug overdoses). The wins have given us an additional 1.82 years of good health; the losses have erased 1.77 years, leaving not much net gain. The study uses 'quality-adjusted life expectancy' as it is a more accurate measurement of years spent in good health. Read the working paper at <a href="http://bit.ly/1Ae7KDc">http://bit.ly/1Ae7KDc</a>; or the summary at <a href="http://on.wsj.com/1sdkykg">http://on.wsj.com/1sdkykg</a>;.

The decline in motor vehicle death rates is impressive, dropping from 20 per 100k in population (1960) to a little over 10 deaths per 100k (2010). The authors present the counterfactual scenario, which projects death rates if we had done nothing--freezing seat belt use, impaired driving, and vehicle safety at 1960 levels--and continued to drive at our current rate: we reach 78 deaths per 100k population by 2008 before the plunge in VMT brings deaths back down to 65 per 100k in 2010. The lesson seems to be it is remarkable what we can accomplish when government, the private sector, and the public agree on a public health threat and decide to act.

The trend is going the wrong way in Houston, where the voters told the City to turn off red light cameras in 2010. The result: more crashes--a lot more (<a href="http://bit.ly/1uqzPVc">http://bit.ly/1uqzPVc</a>;).

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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B' Spokes: I want to emphasize: &quot;The lesson seems to be it is remarkable what we can accomplish when government, the private sector, and the public agree on a public health threat and decide to act.&quot;
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Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change

Health & Environment[B' Spokes: We need to promote more sustainable activities.... like bicycling. Meanwhile this is interesting.]


<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/science/earth/threat-to-bottom-line-spurs-action-on-climate.html?smid=fb-share">http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/science/earth/threat-to-bottom-line-spurs-action-on-climate.html?smid=fb-share</a>;
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Taking Stormwater Management Home

Health & Environmentby inspsw, Sustainable Stormwater Management

After we told our neighbor we were planning to construct a rain garden, she asked us whether it would have any floating aquatic plants. We said, “Oh, no, it’s not going to hold water. It will fill up after a rain but then the water will seep into the ground within 48 hours.” Then she asked us if we were planning to keep fish in it.

I wasn’t surprised to hear this, though, because not a lot of people are familiar with the concept of stormwater management.
...

So, what are some of the benefits of building a rain garden?
  • Beautiful, low maintenance landscaping – A rain garden is full of hearty, typically native, perennials, that can handle both wet and dry conditions.
  • Native plants help native species – In particular, the plants we purchased have been inundated by monarch butterfly larvae, who attached their chrysalises to them.
  • Reducing our stormwater footprint – Stormwater that runs off of hard surfaces such as our roof, sidewalk, and parking pad, flows to the alleyway picking up pollutants as well as contributing to huge spikes in volume in nearby streams. By keeping some of our runoff on site and letting it slowly seep into the water table, we’re doing our part to reduce erosion and pollution effecting Herring Run, the Back River, and the Chesapeake Bay. In some areas, large rain events also contribute to sewage overflows, which, in case you didn’t know, means raw sewage ends up in waterways – toilet paper and all.
  • And, as already mentioned… less mowing!
...

image
...

http://sustainablestormwater.org/2013/10/09/taking-stormwater-management-home/
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