Tags: bloomberg | health | initiative | stairs

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Pushes New Health Initiative — the Stairs

By Morgan Chilson   |   Thursday, 18 Jul 2013 07:32 PM

After unsuccessfully battling the bulge of New Yorkers through trying to downsize soda cup sizes last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pushing for good health by taking on another Big Apple institution – the elevator.

As his mayoral term winds down, Bloomberg is still focused on health, and he is announcing bills that push city offices to do more during renovations and in new buildings to place stairs in prominent locations, to light them well and keep them clean, the New York Times reports.

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These first efforts will encourage people to exercise instead of ride the elevator, but Bloomberg’s announcement of a new nonprofit organization focused on active design means it’s just the beginning.

The Center for Active Design, a nonprofit public and private partnership, will encourage building and public space design that encourages physical activity, the New York Daily News reported.

“The Center for Active Design was organized in response to a growing international health crisis and seeks to reduce obesity and chronic diseases by promoting physical activity and healthy eating through the design of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods,” the organization’s website states.

New York’s Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said stair-climbing is an “under-recognized physical activity,” and added that the city has already handed out 30,000 “Burn Calories, Not Electricity” signs to go in 1,000 buildings, the Daily News said.

Bloomberg’s efforts to impact the health of New Yorkers began in 2003, the NYT said, when he outlawed smoking in bars, restaurants, parks, and on public beaches. Other initiatives included banning trans fats in restaurants, requiring food establishments to publish calorie counts for menu items, and the unsuccessful push last year to limit the size of sodas and other sugary drinks served in restaurants and at convenience stores.

According to the Get America Fit Foundation, obesity ranks second as the cause of preventable death in the United States today, and 60 million Americans over age 20 are obese.

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