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Walking Is Known To Be Beneficial For Health, Yet Fewer People Are Walking - IELTS Band 9 Essay

Walking Is Known To Be Beneficial For Health, Yet Fewer People Are Walking - IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Essay

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Model Essay 1

Despite the well-documented health advantages of walking, its practice is in decline. This essay will explore the reduction in pedestrian activity due to urban sprawl and technology's allure, and will propose solutions involving urban redesign and technological integration to reinvigorate this essential physical activity.

A principal factor contributing to decreased pedestrian activity is the vehicle-centric design of modern urban environments. Cities prioritize car travel, evident through wide roads and a noticeable absence of sidewalks, which discourages walking as a feasible daily activity. The long distances between essential services like supermarkets, schools, and workplaces, which are often only accessible by car, add to the inconvenience. For example, in expansive cities, these amenities may be several miles apart with routes that are unsafe for pedestrians. Moreover, the emergence of gated communities and fragmented urban developments has created isolated neighbourhoods. These are often cut off from the larger urban context, making walking an impractical option for residents within these enclaves.

Moreover, technological advancements have engendered a culture that prioritizes convenience and immediate gratification, which in turn diminishes the traditional role of walking. The widespread availability of on-demand services such as ride-sharing apps and online shopping platforms means that tasks which previously required leaving the house can now be accomplished with a simple click. This shift has led to a significant reduction in the physical activity that was once an integral part of daily routines. The allure of digital convenience often outweighs the benefits of physical exertion, leading to a sedentary lifestyle. For instance, a study from the University of California indicates that the integration of digital platforms for shopping and social interactions has resulted in an 18% reduction in the average daily step count among adults in urban settings over the last decade, highlighting the profound impact of digital convenience on physical activity levels.

To counter the decline in walking, it is crucial to redesign urban areas to be more pedestrian-friendly and to integrate walking into daily routines through technology. Initiatives like creating pedestrian-only zones, improving public transit connectivity, and developing apps that incentivize walking can encourage this healthy habit.

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Model Essay 2

Although walking offers significant health benefits, its frequency has diminished in recent years. This essay examines the cultural shift towards less active lifestyles and the rise of urban sprawl as primary deterrents, and proposes enhanced community engagement and policy reform as viable solutions to encourage walking.

The cultural shift towards more sedentary lifestyles, exacerbated by technological advances and evolving work norms, significantly reduces walking habits. Remote work setups and a plethora of digital entertainment options have lessened the necessity and desire to walk, even for minimal distances. Furthermore, the prevailing trend of extended work hours, predominantly in desk-bound roles, drains individuals physically and mentally, leaving them with little energy for physical activities like walking. This evolution in work and leisure priorities, favouring convenience and efficiency, has diminished the perceived importance of walking, which is increasingly viewed as an expendable, rather than essential, activity for maintaining health.

The configuration of urban spaces is a critical factor in discouraging walking. As cities grow more extensive and spread out, residential areas are often developed far from commercial centres and recreational facilities, making walking impractical and promoting reliance on cars. The infrequency of safe and easily accessible walking paths, along with urban planning that heavily favours vehicular traffic, poses significant barriers to pedestrian mobility. Addressing these issues necessitates thoughtful urban design reforms that focus on the integration of mixed-use developments. Such areas blend residential, educational, and commercial spaces within walkable distances, supported by enhanced pedestrian infrastructure like expanded sidewalks, designated pedestrian areas, and ample green spaces to make walking a more attractive and feasible option.

To combat the decline in walking, it is essential to adjust both societal attitudes and urban configurations. Promoting active lifestyles through community initiatives and rethinking city layouts to support pedestrian accessibility can significantly enhance walking frequency. These strategies not only address the root causes of the decline but also offer sustainable paths forward to reintegrate walking into daily life.

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