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'Taking public transit to work may keep you fitter'

By AFPRelaxnews | Aug 21, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 12 ]

A British study finds that walking, cycling and yes, even taking public transportation to work are associated with lower body weight and lower body fat composition when compared against those who drive.

A team of researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University College London collected and assessed 7,534 BMI (body mass index) measurements and 7,424 body fat percentage measurements from participants in "Understanding Society, the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study," a cross-sectional dataset representative of the British population.

Ten percent of men and 11 percent of women reported using public transport. Both their body fat percentage and their BMI scores, like those of others who walked or cycled, were lower than those who commuted by means of a personally owned car.

Men who used public or active (either walking or cycling) transport modes had an average BMI score of one percent lower than those who commuted via car, which indicates roughly a difference of 3kg in overall body weight.

For women, BMI scores were an average of 0.7 points lower than their car commuting counterparts, equating to an average reduction in overall body weight of 2.5kg.

As far as body fat percentage was concerned, the reduction was similar in size and significance, even after researchers controlled for age-related differences, socio-economic discrepancy, diet and level of physical activity in the workplace.

While the large-scale study did not zero in on public transport users, and they represented a small group, results indicate nonetheless that the stresses and unpleasantness associated with trains and buses could be outweighed by the health benefits.

Of the thousands of participants screened, 76 percent of men and 72 percent of women commuted by means of private motorized vehicles, while 14 percent of men and 17 percent of women walked or cycled to the office.

Average BMI scores came in at 28 for men and 27 for women, indicating that most participants were overweight, teetering on the lines of obesity, which is marked by a BMI score of 30. The ideal BMI score is between 18.5 and 24.9.


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I Concur, since E toll, came to the picture i parked my car and now utilising public transport, i have lost so much weight and feel very healty.Lets do our bit to leaving healthy

Aug 21, 2014 11:48 | 1 replies


do you have a car?

Aug 21, 2014 1:44 | 0 replies


I fully agree and use public transport whenever possible.

Aug 21, 2014 11:53 | 0 replies


been thinking about it

Aug 21, 2014 12:11 | 0 replies


i also agree. i gained so much weight since i started driving my own. even when i use public transport for those few days i can feel the difference.

Aug 21, 2014 12:20 | 0 replies


Women experiencing too much fats must take this study seriously , stop worrying about makeups, high heels etc , its serious reduce those muffons nt ayoba maaan

Aug 21, 2014 12:40 | 0 replies


Its a pitty there is no public transport where I stay, I wudnt drive either.

Aug 21, 2014 12:41 | 0 replies


Taxis No NO, use my car, go to gym everyday, very healthy

Aug 21, 2014 12:59 | 2 replies


sure taxi is nonono, but BRT thumbs up

Aug 21, 2014 1:9 | 0 replies


I use taxis all the time.

Aug 21, 2014 2:58 | 0 replies


Anyway, if you are is big ... same fanana!

Aug 21, 2014 1:50 | 0 replies


I gained a lot of weight when i had jus bought my car. I decided to jog 3 times a week and changed my eating lifestyle. Now I'm in a better shape and fitter than I was before I bought a car. It's up to an individual!

Aug 22, 2014 8:4 | 0 replies