A new research suggests that riding public transport to work results in health benefits. The Japanese study looked at diverse ways of commuting to work and the health of the participants in the research.
Which do you prefer to commute to work? Walking, biking, driving or riding public transport? While ditching the car in favor of the other three options is clearly a healthier option, it seems that running to catch the bus may result in more health benefits than walking or cycling.
The Japanese study looked at the medical condition of the participants to evaluate weight, diabetes and blood pressure.
The results of the research have been presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015. Doctor Hisako Tsuji, the lead author of the study and the director of Moriguchi City Health Examination Center located in Osaka, Japan stated that the results of the study are indeed surprising. While there are drawbacks, they do warrant further insight.
In the U.S. 610,000 people die yearly due to heart disease. The risk factors that contribute to this fatal condition are obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Physical activity is already known to contribute largely to mitigating these risk factors.
To understand how riding public transport to work results in health benefits, the research team looked at the medical records of nearly 6,000 Japan adults. In 2012 all participants had responded to a questionnaire assessing their means of commuting to work.
One group used public transport, a second group either walked to work or cycled there. A third group commuted by personal car. In the third group, the majority was male. The first and second groups included predominantly female participants. Assessing their health, the research team found that those who used public transport in their daily work commute had 44 percent less chances to be overweight compared with drivers. In addition, the likelihood that they suffered from diabetes decreased by 34 percent. At the same time, they were 27 percent less likely to present high blood pressure.
While it is unclear what triggers these health benefits, the Japanese researchers believe a deeper insight is needed.
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