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Burlington, Vermont

Burlington’s Healthy Habits Are Attainable

November 18, 2008 06:59 AM
by Sarah Amandolare
Burlington, Vt., was named the healthiest city in the United States—an achievement born from simple strategies that could translate well in other urban areas.

Back to Basics in Burlington

Burlington, Vt., has been named the healthiest city in the United States for “having the largest proportion of people—92 percent—who say they are in good or great health,” according to an Associated Press article published on CNN.

Exercise is highly popular in Vermont’s largest city, and not surprisingly, obesity is uncommon, said a report recently completed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and cited in the AP article. Burlington residents enjoy many outdoor activities, such as biking, skiing and snowboarding, and hiking. Furthermore, the city is constantly improving parks, creating community gardens and making the city more walkable. IBM, a major Burlington employer, also offers excellent health coverage.

This is not the first time that Burlington residents have been recognized for their active lifestyle. MSN Real Estate reported that Sperling’s Best Places named the city on Lake Champlain one of the best in the United States for outdoor activities. With its waterfront area and eight-mile path for running or cycling, as well as “easy access to education” and cultural activities, Burlington is a thinking-athlete’s dream town.

Vermont is also dedicated to healthy living in the workplace. At the Work Site Wellness Conference in October, Vermont employers came together to share ideas for creating healthy work environments. Employers discussed “strategies and policies for driving healthy behavior changes in the work place,” such as “park bench yoga” and healthier vending machines. Awards were also given out to the healthiest Vermont employers.

Background: What makes a city healthy

The New Colonist outlines 10 characteristics of healthy cities, including fixed transit, which encourages people to get around on foot. Public squares and vegetation along streets and atop roofs, as well as nearby working farms were also considered healthy qualities.

Within Burlington, the Intervale Center manages 350 acres of land for farming local, organic food, focusing on sustainability and nutrition. The center also helps improve soil fertility and protect local streams. Educational programs to teach young people about agriculture and healthful eating are also offered. 

Related Topic: Burlington travel and relocation

Reference: Healthy workplaces and places to live


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