Commuters who shun car travelling keep slimmer, analyze concludes – BBC News

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People who cycle, stroll or catch the train or bus to run maintain more weight off than commuters who travel by automobile, a large UK study has find.

The outcomes come from 150,000 UK adults aged 40 or older who agreed to be measured and weighed and fill in a survey about their typical journey to and from work.

Cycling “re coming out” as the best activity for biding trim, followed by stroll.

But even those who use public transport were leaner than vehicle users.

The writers of the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology study say the findings depict even a little physical activity is better than nothing at all.

They reached their conclusions by comparing the bodyweights and lifestyles of the 72,999 men and 83,667 women in their study.

Even when they factored in changes such as leisure-time, exercise, diet and occupation, the trend between commute technique and bodyweight remained.

And for both cycling and walking, greater travelling distances were associated with greater reductions in percentage body fat.

By their computations, an “average” height man would weigh around 5kg( 11 lbs) less if he were to cycle rather than drive to run each day.

Likewise, the average height female would weigh 4.4 kg( 9.7 lbs) less.

‘It’s a win win’

In the study, 64% of men and 61% of women commuted by car, while 4% of men and 2 % of women reported cycling or doing a mix of cycling and stroll.

In England and Wales, 23.7 million people regularly commute to work and around two-thirds do so by auto, according to census data.

Study author Dr Ellen Flint, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “We know that physical activity can help prevent obesity – perfectly we do – and yet, two thirds of the UK population don’t attain weekly recommended high levels of physical activity.

“This study indicates basically that people who do manage to build some level of physical exertion into their commute, even if it’s simply strolling to a bus stop or cycling a short distance, they tend to be less heavy and have less body fat than people who drive all the way to work.”

She said it was important that policy makers and township planners make it easy for people to walk and cycle to work.

“It’s a win, win really for public health and the environment, ” she said.

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