Taking Public Transportation Linked to Better Health Than Driving

Taking public transportation to work is linked to better health than driving to the office, according to a new study.

Individuals who ride the bus or train may have a lower risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and overweight, the research found, even after adjusting for other lifestyle factors like gender or age.

One explanation for the results might be that commuters who take public transportation walk farther than drivers during the day as they go to and from stations or stops.

The 20-minute threshold

According to lead study author Dr. Hisako Tsuji, many people would rather drive than take public transportation if their commute is longer than 20 minutes.

The study found that, compared to drivers, public transportation users were 44 percent less likely to be overweight, 27 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, and 34 percent less likely to have diabetes.

“People should consider taking public transportation instead of a car, as a part of daily, regular exercise,” Tsuji said. “It may be useful for healthcare providers to ask patients about how they commute.”

The study was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions in Orlando.

Source: American Heart Association

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