Men who walk or bike to work are less likely to be obese and more likely to have healthier blood pressure and insulin levels, research showed.
Men whose commute involved such exercise were half as likely to be obese as those who drove or took public transportation, said Penny Gordon-Larsen, lead author of the study in today’s Archives of Internal Medicine. Cardiovascular benefits found for women in the study weren’t statistically significant, she said.
About two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, stroke and osteoarthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta. For most adults, walking 60 minutes a day at a brisk pace meets U.S. guidelines for avoiding weight gain, according to the article.
“Even if you adjust for other forms of physical activity, walking or biking to work really does add an additional benefit,” said Gordon-Larsen, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a telephone interview today. “It really shows that working physical activity in, even if you can’t get to a gym, could have beneficial health outcomes for people.”
That last bolded part is exactly how it works for me. For all my good intentions, I never, ever, ever worked regular exercise into my schedule, until I started commuting.