Active commuting keeps heart troubles at bay

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					Active commuting keeps heart troubles at bay
Archives of Internal Medicine

Walking or riding a bike to work makes you fitter and keeps health troubles like weight gain, blood pressure and diabetes at bay. One potentially effective means of increasing physical activity is through alternative, non-leisure forms of physical activity such as active commuting (walking or biking to work). However, little is known about the benefits of commuting on the cardiovascular and overall health of people. To explore the association of lifestyle exercise, such as active commuting (walking or biking to work), with obesity, fitness, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, researchers from America identified 2364 adults enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults. The participants worked outside home during the 20 years of follow-up. The participants reported the length of their commute in minutes and miles, including details on the percentage of the trip taken by car, public transportation, walking or bicycling. The participants' height, weight and other health variables, including blood pressure and fitness levels were assessed by a treadmill test. Approximately 17 per cent of the participants used any means of active commuting to reach their workplace. Active commuting was found to be positively associated with fitness in men and women and inversely associated with body mass index, obesity, triglyceride levels, blood pressure and insulin level in men. The above findings add to existing evidence that walking or biking to work is beneficial. Further research is needed to reveal other potential benefits of active commuting, as well as for exploring the association between walking or biking to work and other health-promoting behaviors.

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