PEOPLE WHO DRIVE to work have a higher body fat percentage in mid-life compared to those who walk, cycle or even use public transport.
That’s according to a study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
The strongest associations were seen for people who commuted via bicycle, compared to those who used a car.
The average man in the sample, aged 59, was 11lbs lighter if they cycled to work instead of driving, while the average woman, aged 52, was 9.7lbs lighter.
After cycling, walking to work was associated with the greatest reduction in BMI and percentage body fat. Commuters who only used public transport also had lower BMI compared to car-users.
Doctor Lars Bo Andersen from Sogndal and Fjordane University College in Norway, said:
“The finding of a positive effect from active commuting is important, because commuting to work is an everyday activity that lots of working people need to do.
Many people are not attracted to recreational sports or other leisure time physical activities, which are proven to benefit health, and active transport might therefore be an important and easy choice to increase physical activity and the proportion of people achieving recommended levels of physical activity.
“Physical activity during commuting has health benefits even if its intensity is moderate and the commuting does not cause high heart rate and sweating.”
The study looked at data from over 150,000 individuals aged between 40 and 69 in the UK.