Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New study links "active travel" to health issues

Good reason to leave the car behind and walk or bike the next time you need to run errands. Results of a soon-to-be published study underscore the huge importance of walking and bicycling in combating two major U.S. public health epidemics – obesity and diabetes. John Pucher, PhD, professor of urban planning at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and HIS colleagues will publish their findings in this month’s issue of The American Journal of Public Health. The team of researchers looked at health and travel data for 14 countries, all 50 U.S. states and 47 of the 50 largest American cities. “At all three geographic levels, we found statistically significant, negative relationships between active travel and self-reported obesity,” they said. “At the state and city levels we found statistically significant positive relationships between active travel and diabetes. Over half of the variation among countries’ obesity rates is linked to differences in walking and cycling rates.” The researchers concluded that their study, which agrees with others that have been done, demonstrates the health benefits of active travel. They suggested transport, land-use and urban development policies be designed to encourage more walking and cycling for daily travel.

No comments:

Post a Comment