Walk to Work and Cut Diabetes Risk
Instead of taking the bus to work, try walking instead! U.K. researchers found that active modes of traveling to work, such as walking or biking, were associated with a lower likelihood of obesity and diabetes. Compared with driving or taking a taxi, walking to work was associated with a 20% reduced risk of being obese and a 40% reduced risk of diabetes, according to Anthony Laverty, MSc, of the Imperial College of London, and colleagues. Those who biked to work had a 37% lower risk of obesity and a 50% lower risk of diabetes. Only walking to work was associated with a decreased risk of hypertension compared with driving.
The authors looked at associations between active travel versus inactive travel with cardiovascular risk factors of 20,458 English workers participating in this survey. The survey included participants ages 16 to 65, who worked and provided information about their travel to work. The survey assessed a person’s travel by asking about their method of travel to work and the distance that they had to travel. They found that more than 69% of those who participated used a private transport, such as a car or taxi, to get to work, while 12% walked, 3% biked, and 16% used public transportation.
Although the researchers considered a person using public transportation as a form of active transportation, it was only associated with significant reductions in body mass index. Walking was associated with reductions in BMI, overweight status, diabetes, and self-reported hypertension. Cycling was associated with reductions in BMI, overweight status, and diabetes. The authors did note that the study did not take into account other forms of physical activity or other forms of active travel other than during the work commute. However, next time it is nice outside, try walking or biking to work instead of driving. It can help you to stay healthy and may even decrease your risk of diabetes.