Did you know that car commuters are at a higher risk of getting obese and higher blood pressure? That is at least what a U.K. study showed. According to that study, people who walk to work instead of picking a car are 40% less likely to develop diabetes. When it comes to blood pressure they are 17% less likely to get it. This is in comparison to those who have developed the habit of using their cars to go to work.
Researchers did the analysis of data collected from 20,000 UK residents to see if there a link between the way they travel and how healthy they were. By looking through the information provided, it became clear that those who used public transit and enjoyed cycling or walking were at a lower risk of getting obese compared to those who preferred using their private car. The data showed that those who used bicycle to go to work were 50% less likely to develop diabetes compared to those who commute by car.
The researchers also found that 19% of people who used taxis, motorcycles, cars and other private transport to go to work were obese. Looking at the percentage of those who walk, only 15% of them were obese and among those who rely on bicycle, 13 percent.
The mode used to get to work by individuals in different part of the United Kingdom varied. As an example only 5% of the people in Northern Ireland use public transport while 52% of the population in London use it. This finding was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on August 6.
Being overweight, high blood pressure and diabetes are 3 major risk factors that ultimately result in heart and circulatory problems. With this study, it can be suggested that if people want to avoid serious heart problem they need to start walking more often instead of taking cars.
In a College news released, Anthony Laverty, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London said that this study shows how important it is to do some daily routine exercise, be it walking or cycling to improve one’s health. He added that the variations of behavior between regions of UK suggest that by investing more into infrastructures that would encourage walking, cycling and public transport there is a higher chance that people living in such an environment are going to develop healthy habits and by reducing the usage of private car the environment is also going to be less polluted.
For now the scientists that did this research have not shown a cause and effect relationship between walking to work and decreased risk of diabetes. But the data shows there is a high probability that walking and cycling to work reduces the chances of getting it. It is certainly important that people develop the habit of practicing very simple exercises on daily basis.
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