Jan 19, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Bus, Train Commuters Healthier Than Walkers, Bikers

Nov 11, 2015 07:38 PM EST

A new study revealed that commuting via a bus or train may actually reduce risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes more compared with walking and biking. The study by Japanese researchers published last Sunday by the American Heart Association (AHA) compared bus/train commuters and walkers/bikers and adjusted confounding factors like gender, age and smoking habits.

"Bus/train commuters had even lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and overweight than the walkers or bikers," according to the press release presented during the meeting of AHA's Scientific Session this weekend.

The study conducted in Japan found that compared with drivers and public transport commuters, 44 percent were less likely to be overweight, 27 percent less likely to have blood pressure and 34 percent less likely to acquire diabetes. Reason behind pointed out to commuters walking a longer distance from the bus or train station going to their work.

"If it takes longer than 20 minutes one-way to commute by walking or cycling, many people seem to take public transportation or a car in urban areas of Japan," said Moriguchi City Health Examination director and lead author Hisako Tsuji. "People should consider taking public transportation instead of a car, as a part of daily, regular exercise." He further added, "It may be useful for health care providers to ask patients how they commute."

All 5908 participants underwent an annual health examination and were asked about their physical work activity and how they get to work. Business Standards reports that researchers admitted that it is impossible to prove whether taking public transportation can improve health or commuters were already healthier compared with others. 

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