People who walk, cycle or take public transportation to work tend to be thinner than those who ride in their own cars, according to a new study.
The new findings – including that taking public transportation was just as beneficial as the other “active commuting” modes – point to significant health benefits across society if more people left their cars at home, researchers say.
“It seems to suggest switching your mode of commuting. If you can build in just a bit of incidental physical activity, you may be able to cut down on your chance of being overweight and achieve a healthier body composition as well,” said Ellen Flint, who led the study.
Flint and her colleagues from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London write at TheBMJ.com that physical activity has decreased along with the proportion of people taking active modes of transportation to work. There is also evidence to suggest greater increases in obesity rates in areas with larger declines in active travel, they add.