(RxWiki News) Adults who cycle or walk to work may have lower body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI) in midlife, compared to adults who drive.
That's according to a new study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at data from more than 150,000 commuters between the ages of 40 and 69 in the largest study to date on the health benefits of active transportation.
The strongest associations between active commuting and lower body fat percentage and BMI were seen for individuals who biked to work, compared to those who drove. After cycling, walking to work was tied to the greatest reduction in BMI and body fat percentage.
Even those who took public transport had lower body fat percentages and BMIs than those who commuted by car.
Compared with those who drove to work, men who used public transport weighed 4.85 pounds less on average. And those who mixed public transport with walking or cycling were 6.83 pounds lighter. For women, the weight differences were 2.2 pounds and 4.4 pounds lighter, respectively.
The UK Medical Research Council funded this research. No conflicts of interest were disclosed.