active commuting: cycling, walking, or running to and from work; such a daily routine provides a worker with the health benefits of physical exercise and lower transportation costs while benefiting the environment.
*** TROVELOG ***
Barely 3 percent of the American work force bikes or walks to work with any frequency, despite the obvious virtues: decreased risks for obesity and diabetes, environmental benefits and lower transportation costs. Ask people why they eschew what’s known as active commuting, as many surveys have, and the primary reason cited is time. Those things take too long, most say.
They’re probably wrong. A new study published in a journal called Transportmetrica A: Transport Science shows that people often overestimate the time required to commute actively, a miscalculation especially common when someone has secured a parking permit near the office.
As a keen cyclist, I’ve long felt there are significant benefits of riding to work, both in terms of physical and mental wellbeing. That was the finding of a recent study published in the British Medical Journal. The study looked at the impact ‘active commuting’ has on our health.
They define active commuting as the ability to get some exercise in whilst traveling to and from work, so usually this will consist of cycling, walking or running. The authors analyzed over 250,000 people with an average age of 53 who were in employment. They were quizzed on how they usually get to work.
The answers were then grouped into five categories, ranging from non-active to fully active. Each participant was tracked over a five year timeframe, whereby incidences of heart disease, cancers and death were recorded. What’s more, each individual was adjusted for their age, sex, poverty levels and so on to try and provide a clear view of the impact their commute was having on their health.
When the data was analyzed, it revealed that cycling to work was associated with a 41% lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Cycle commuters had a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had 46% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer at all.
Cycling to work was associated with a 45 per cent lower risk of developing cancer and a 46 per cent lower risk of heart disease compared with commuting by car or public transit.
The results are important, the researchers said, because “active commuting” helps people to be physically active as part of their daily routine instead of carving out time to hit the gym.
Commuters who walked nearly 10 kilometres or more than six miles a week also showed a lower risk of cardiovascular damage such as heart attacks and strokes.
See related Trovelog posts: dockless bikes <>