Active commuting has been linked to a reduced likelihood of obesity, a large UK study has revealed.
Physical inactivity is a leading cause of obesity and premature mortality, and according to estimates from Public Health England, two thirds of adults are obese and by 2034, 70% of adults are expected to be overweight or obese. Obesity is becoming one of the biggest health threats to the UK population, causing widespread heart disease and cancer.
However, it can be avoided by incorporating more activity into your daily life, and active commuting has been recognised as being significantly and independently associated with reduced BMI and percentage body fat in both males and females.
The study, conducted by The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, assessed 150,000 UK adults aged 40 or older who agreed to be measured and weighed along with providing information about their daily commute to and from work.
Cycling was revealed as the number one commuting method for staying trim, followed by walking. What’s more, travel distance was directly proportionate to a reduction in body fat percentage, with those living further away from work having the leanest compositions.
By the study’s calculations based on the ‘average height’ of each gender, a man would weigh around 5kg less if he were to cycle rather than drive to work each day, and a woman would weigh 4.4kg less.
Despite the palpable benefits of cycling to work, only 4% of men and 2% of women surveyed reported cycling and/or walking to work each day
In England and Wales, 15.8 million commute to work by car, according to Census data. Of those surveyed, the vast majority - 64% of men and 61% of women - commuted to work by car each day.
If ever there was a good excuse to get on your bike and start the daily cycle commute,there is no time like the present. Not only will it help to keep you slim and prevent obesity and its associated health problems, but it will also help your wallet too. Read more about how cycling to work can save you money (and quite often, time).
It’s a no-brainer! Happy cycling!
1The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology study, March 2016
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