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Suppose a community team identifies lack of access to exercise modalities as a public health issue. If the team were to determine that pedestrian walkways need to be constructed, discuss at least two factors that would facilitate the development of the walkways and two that would hinder the development. For the hindrances, discuss ways that the team might work to overcome those hindrances.

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Identifying public health issues is an important task that requires attention in order to implement change. Often times, change is opposed and not welcomed. With reference to the situation presented, there are benefits and hindrances that could arise. The need for access to pedestrian walkways would be presented based on the safety that these walkways would offer as well as the health benefit that these walkways would offer. With the walkways, there would be no reason for people to be walking in the roadway or close to the road, risking being injured by a motorist. There is less risk of injury since the walkways would provide safe and level paved ground to walk on. The health benefit would come from the walkways giving persons wanting to walk, a safe spot to walk or run and not be in the way of cars traveling the roadways. Walking has many health benefits that include:

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint, and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • stronger bones and improved balance
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat.

Two different hindrances that could be expected include cost and space. The need for the walkways would be a good tool for encouraging those in the city council and/or county commission to approve the funding. Space may be a problem if the roadways are close to housing and stores. Dealing with the right of way laws, and getting private citizens to be onboard with the construction could also become a problem. Educating the public on what these sidewalks could mean for the health of the community could potentially increase the approval as well as recruit others to promote the idea.

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