Approaches to a Healthy Environment

Approaches to Healthier Environment

Population-based approaches:

  • Vending machines offer healthy food options at schools and worksites
  • Activity breaks for meeting lasting longer than 1 hour

Shared Use Paths and Trails: Part of a transportation circulation system that supports multiple recreation opportunities, such as walking, bicycling, and inline skating. A shared-use path typically has a surface that is asphalt, concrete, or firmly packed crushed aggregate. Shared-use paths can provide both a transportation and recreation function.

Reasonable walking distance: One mile is considered a reasonable distance to walk.

Walk to School Initiative: A community-based program (e.g., Safe Routes to School) that aims to increase opportunities for daily physical activity by encouraging children to walk to and from school in groups accompanied by adults. At the same time, the program advocates for communities to build partnerships with the school, PTA, local police department, department of public works, civic associations, local politicians, and businesses to create an environment that is supportive of walking and bicycling to school safely.

Comprehensive School Wellness Policy

Mixed Land Use: The use of safe and well-maintained sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle paths, trails, parks, recreational facilities, and community designs featuring mixed-use development (e.g., mixing residential and commercial in same area) and a connected grid of streets.

Traffic Calming Measures: The combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use and improve conditions for non-motorized street users.

Greenways: Open space corridors that can be managed for conservation, recreation, and/or alternative transportation. Greenways often follow natural or existing land or water features such as ridgelines, stream valleys, rivers, canals, utility corridors, abandoned rail lines and others.

Road Diet: A road diet is a technique in transportation planning whereby a road is reduced in number of travel lanes and/or effective width in order to achieve systemic improvements (for walking and bicycling).

Community Garden Initiatives: The process of growing, processing, and distributing food in and around cities and suburbs or urban agriculture provides individuals and families with many benefits. 

Advantages of urban agriculture:
• Alternative source of fresh produce,
• Improved life satisfaction,
• A way to preserve cultural identity and traditions.

Urban agriculture may be done on land owned by a community group, institution, municipality, land trust, or some other entity.


  • Used for personal consumption or used to procure supplemental income
  • Builds job skills,
  • Improves self-esteem,
  • Contributing to community revitalization.

Characteristics of community gardening initiatives comprise: land and supply procurement; organization of participants; reduction of barriers to fresh produce; production of primary or alternative source of fresh produce; and entrepreneurial gardens.

Supermarket Accessibility: Residents in the community living within a 3 mile radius of a supermarket.

Tobacco Free Policy 24/7:  All tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, are prohibited around the clock to be used by anyone inside and/or outside buildings, at sponsored events (on- or off- grounds), and within all vehicles.

Incentive: Any factor (financial or non-financial) that provides a motive for a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. Examples are: certificates of appreciation or certificates of participation in the program, movie passes, transportation passes or tokens, phone cards, meal certificates, and/or cash.

Subsidized Membership: A free or reduced-price membership, which is fully and/or partially financially supported by the employer. Examples include: Transportation passes & gym memberships

Flextime for Employees: the work hours established by the employer are changed at the request of the employee. A flexible work arrangement is often requested by an employee who is trying to successfully meet work obligations while fulfilling a personal need or concern. Examples include: telecommuting, compressed work week, and flextime.