Monday, September 08, 2014

Need to lose weight? Try commuting.

Anyone who found themselves delayed, standing, or indeed both, on a busy commuter train this week may be consoled by a new study reported in the British Medical Journal, suggesting that people that use public modes of transport are thinner than those that use private means.

A study by "boffins" at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has finally proven what I've been saying for years - commuting is good for you. The study assessed around seven and a half thousand individuals for BMI and percentage body fat. They found that both male and female "active commuters" (a definition covering walking, cycling and public transport) tended to have significantly lower BMI scores than those who drove.

With such sensationalism in reporting on the obesity issue, it's a useful reminder that exercise doesn't have to be extreme to do you good. It may not make headlines like the 5:2 diet, Zumba or streetdance, but your journey to work can have a real impact on your health, good or bad. Of course, with train fares set for another hike, joining a gym might end up looking cheap by comparison.


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