Can’t squeeze fitness into your day? Just walk to work.
A new U.S. study has found that “active commuting” — walking or riding a bike to work, even if it’s only part of the way — boosts health and fitness levels.
Researchers in Chapel Hill, N.C., studied the commuting habits of 2,364 people who were enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. They then measured their height, weight, blood pressure and fitness levels.
Men who either walked to work or rode their bike to work had lower obesity levels as well as lower triglycerides (fat in the blood), lower blood pressure, and lower blood glucose levels. The effect was not as strong in women.
The average length of activity was 20 minutes for men and 17 minutes for women. “Ultimately it would be wonderful to see more people walking and biking to work, but to make this happen, we need to make walking and biking safe and accessible by reducing environmental barriers to activity,” says Dr. Penny Gordon-Larsen (PhD), lead author of the study.