The Benefits of Active Transportation

A new study out confirms what we bike commuters already knew: active transportation contributes to improved fitness and health. The study found that, “Active commuting was positively associated with fitness in men and women and inversely associated with BMI, obesity, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and insulin level in men. Active commuting should be investigated as a modality for maintaining or improving health.

This cross-sectional study included 2,364 participants already enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. The new study looked at participants who worked outside the home during year 20 of the CARDIA study. A number of factors were assessed to determine the effects of active commuting including body weight, obesity, fitness, blood pressure, and glucose/insulin levels.

Active Commuting and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

7 Responses to “The Benefits of Active Transportation”

  • bongobike says:

    Let’s give these scientist our collective “DUH” of appreciation. This has been proven over and over again.

  • tdp says:

    Granted we (cyclists) knew this already but we’ve also known that cigarettes are bad for years and only when scientists proved they were did the government do something about it. You can’t substitute good scientific study and facts for anecdotal evidence. Facts go a lot further in convincing governments and institutions to get more involved and spreading the word which in turn encourages people to be more proactive in their health. I often hear studies that I’ve known the answers to for years and guffaw at until I remember that the more information showing the facts the fewer excuses people have not to listen.

  • A Bike Commuter says:

    The more information like this in the public domain, the better IMO. I agree that we take this for granted, but for the average person who thinks bike commuting might be too much effort or too dangerous this is a nudge in the right direction. Cycling IS healthy. Which makes last month’s proposal by John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) to stop Federal funding for bicycle projects and programs look that much more wrong-headed.

    The League of American Bicyclists wrote “In a letter to President Obama, the two leading House Republicans proposed cutting all funding for Transportation Enhancements, Safe Routes to Schools and Nonmotorized pilot programs in the President’s budget.”

    OK, rant over. You can go back to your normally scheduled programming.

    @ tdp – Actually you CAN substitute a good scientific study and facts for anecdotal evidence. It’s the other way around that seems a little suspect. (Just having some fun with you… have a great weekend!) :-p

  • Alan says:

    I agree this was sort of a “DUH” moment, but I do appreciate the fact that they looked at commuting specifically. There seems to be a fairly widespread misconception that the low intensity exercise we get from active transportation is not “real” exercise and that it’s hardly beneficial; this study proves otherwise in a fairly conclusive manner.

  • Duncan Watson says:

    There seems to be a fairly widespread misconception that the low intensity exercise we get from active transportation is not “real” exercise and that it’s hardly beneficial; this study proves otherwise in a fairly conclusive manner.

    @alan,
    I have seen that attitude a lot on the various bike forums. Trolls, scolds and racer boys all like to disparage commuters. In my new house I will have a 15 mile commute with about 800 ft of cumulative elevation gain. A typical two way commute will be 2h:20m of exercise for me, which means that a week will be 11h+ of cycling exercise. I believe I see a reason I have been losing 5lbs /month .

  • Lou says:

    My grandma used to cycle a lot. She is now 90 !

  • donald stewart says:

    I have put on 25 lbs and my blood sugars and trigycerides are up since I retired and have to decide to take a bike ride as opposed to just getting up knowing I’m riding to work.

    I will definitely have to find a way to build it back into my life now that it is not an automatic and I’m busier than ever so it is not as easy as you might expect.

    I’m trying to make up some of it walking but it isn’t the same. I almost never walk really hard but I often rode hard and enjoyed it. Even a down hill sprint on the bike can be a good aerobic push in away that only a really good up hill is walking.

    donald

 
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