No, really.

A new study, mentioned in today’s Seattle Times, found that sprawl is really bad for your health. To wit:

The study, which analyzed data on more than 8,600 Americans in 38 metropolitan areas, found that rates of arthritis, asthma, headaches and other complaints increased with the degree of sprawl. Living in the least sprawling areas, compared with living in the most, was like adding about four years to people’s lives, the study found. (Emphasis added.)

The researchers said that sedentary lifestyles promoted by auto-dependent communities were at least partially to blame for shortened lifespans.

Winston Churchill was once reported to have said: "We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us." I guess the same thing is true for our neighborhoods.