Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Driving To Work Is Bad For Your Health

We know that sedentary lifestyles contribute greatly to our national obesity epidemic but daily commuters face some of the biggest health risks of all. Between stress, sleep deprivation, and road fatalities, long drives each morning are no picnic; But tack on that extra hour of sitting while driving to and from the office and it amounts to approximately ten sedentary hours every day!

In this same vein, the act of driving to work (and nine out of ten commuters do) contributes to urban congestion, air pollution, and, studies suggest, global warming. The amount of physical space required for people to drive to work is more than ten times the space needed for a more compact bus or train. Research shows that employees who take public transportation to work weigh less than their driving counterparts. Several minutes of walking to the bus stop or down into the subway translate to that much less sitting and that much more moving for an individual. Americans should be motivated to take public transportation not only for environmental reasons, but to protect their waistlines as well.

But, we can take this one step further and look at the amount of street space bikes take up in comparison to vehicles. A biking (or walking!) commute is not only the most eco-friendly method of transportation but the undeniable winner when it comes to individual health and well-being.

Biking to work isn’t an option for everyone, but a trip by public transit holds a clear second place.

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