Health benefits of cycling and walking to work revealed

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Researchers have found that cycling, walking and even taking public transport to work have been linked to lower levels of body fat. The findings suggest that even a small amount of physical activity during your commute carries health benefits.

The study, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, looked at data from around half a million people aged between 40 and 60 in the UK. Researchers determined that those who only commute by car have the highest percentage of body fat.

Men who cycle to work are the leanest, weighing on average 5kg less than those who drive, while the difference in women is 4.4kg. The data shows that the further a person walks or cycles during their commute, the lower their BMI.

The lower rates of body fat considered in the study are independent of other factors such as income, whether a person lives in a rural or urban area, how much alcohol they consume, their general level of activity and if they smoke, according to a report by the Independent.

Lead study author Dr Ellen Flint says two-thirds of adults in England don’t meet recommended levels of physical activity. She adds that using public transport and active commuting could be a way to tackle worldwide obesity problems.

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson