Time pressure, healthy lives and the paradox of speed: an ‘active travel’ cure for the hurry virus? (14659)
Conventional wisdom in modern societies suggests that the faster city dwellers move from one activity to another, the better: the faster we move, the further we travel and the more ‘productive’ we become. This paper questions this view, exploring a paradox whereby increasing the speed of travel as a strategy to cope with time pressure can lead to a loss of time, money and health. A holistic assessment of the costs of transport reveals that the ‘slower’ active modes of transport may reduce time pressures and help people rediscover natural connections between themselves and their world. The paper explains how a culture of speed promotes lifestyles that minimise the chances of children engaging in the healthy occupations of walking and cycling, and leads to a situation where larger numbers of people (adults and children) are engaged in less healthy lifestyles. In a multitude of ways, some of which have been largely overlooked in research on health or time pressure, active travel can improve the health of individuals, places and cities.