A recent study has revealed that opting to leave your car at home when commuting to work could help you to lose weight.
What did the study involve?
Researchers at the University of East Anglia looked to see if there was any link with how 4,000 participants commuted and how much they weighed.
They looked at what form of transport they used along with their height and weight to enable them to work out their BMI (Body Mass Index).
The researchers then looked to see how over a 2 year period if any changes to their mode of transport would impact on their weight.
What were the results of the study?
The first part of the study involved 3,269 participants, with 179 having stopped driving to work during the 2 year period. Instead they were either walking (109) or cycling (70).
Those who had changed their mode of commute to walking or cycling saw a reduction in their BMI, with an average loss of 1 kg for the shorter commutes.
For the participants who commuted for more than 10 minutes they saw an average loss of 2 kg.
Participants who commuted for over 30 minutes unsurprisingly saw the greatest losses, with an average weight loss of 7 kg over 2 years.
The second part of the study looked at how changing from walking or cycling to the car affected the participants weight.
The results of this second part saw 787 people participating, with 156 stopping walking or cycling to work, with another 112 switching from public transport (bus) to a car.
The researchers discovered that the resultant changes saw an increase in weight of 1 kg on average.
The author of the report had this to say about the results:
“Combined with other potential health, economic and environmental benefits associated with walking, cycling and public transport, these findings add to the case for interventions to promote the uptake of these more sustainable forms of transport.”
“If large numbers of people could be enabled to take up active travel to work, for example through environmental and policy interventions in the transport and planning sectors, the benefits for population health may be larger than those of alternative interventions targeted at producing larger individual health benefits for relatively small numbers of people.”
This study is not saying anything unsurprising, as it is pretty obvious that those taking the car will be getting less exercise than those who walk or cycle to and from work.
However, what is not stated is that just because you drive to work does not necessarily mean that you have to gain weight.
Work is just one aspect of your life. Just make sure you are active outside of work; especially if your job is sedentary.
Weight gain can lead to numerous health conditions so make sure you start looking after yourself.