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The French Fact: Why are they so thin?

September 18, 2011

How come Parisians, in particular, are so not overweight?

Eating less, but better?  Smoking?  Social pressure?

Maybe all of the above – but I think it’s more because of this … exquisitely illustrated in a sweet little video:



Because the Metro is just below the surface, there aren’t a lot of escalators, mainly just short flights of stairs.  And because the system is so extensive, where lines frequently cross each other, Metro users spend a lot of time walking between stations.  Add it all up: a lot of calories.

Same in New York City:



And speaking of walking, it’s time to take advantage of Walk 21 – the international conference on walking and liveable commuities – coming to Vancouver October 3-5.  Find out more and sign up here.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Tessa permalink
    September 18, 2011 2:46 pm

    Can you link to the video page on vimeo? I would love to see what else they have.

  2. September 18, 2011 3:57 pm

    So true… the metro in paris, although the long walks can be quiet daunting at times.

    If you’ve ever transferred in Chatelet-Les-Halles, serious walking there!

  3. September 19, 2011 12:02 am

    It’s not just that. It is all the four storey walk up buildings without elevators where residents climb the stairs every day.

  4. The Other David permalink
    September 19, 2011 11:42 pm

    Some of those transfers in the Paris Metro are epic.. you start to wonder if there are any trains involved, or if you’re just walking to the next station… Diagrams don’t show this… the longest walk in Chatelet-Les-Halles that Colin mentioned is 750 metres, a 9 or 10 minute walk!

  5. Dist permalink
    September 20, 2011 1:06 am

    You could also consider that, in general, high density cites are better suited to walking. Also, I always had consider that Parisian’s fitness (you could also change that for a lot of other cities) was due to stress. Usually nervous people tend to be slimmer.

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