People Taking Public Transit To Work Are 44 Percent Less Likely To Be Overweight


Dread taking public transit to work some days? Well, it could save you from getting diabetes!

Recent studies have emerged from Japan that found taking the bus or train into work has been linked to a lower chance of high blood pressure, diabetes, and being overweight.

This could possibly have something to do with walking to and from bus stops and train stations or the unavoidable sprinting that takes place to catch the last bus home. I always used to giggle at those people, until one day that was me — and no one was laughing.

Man taking subway 

Research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015 from the Japan study showed that, compared to car drivers, public transportation users were 44 percent less likely to be overweight, 34 percent less likely to have diabetes, and 27 percent less likely to have high blood pressure.

The researchers gathered their data from 5,908 adults who attended Moriguchi City Health Examination Center in Osaka, Japan for an annual physical and questionnaire.

Those who indicated that they do use public transportation to and from work had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight, even compared with participants who were cyclists!

While the study does not suggest public transportation is directly what causes these health improvements, they do point out that there is an association between health benefits and having even small amounts of physical activity per day.

“People should consider taking public transportation instead of a car, as a part of daily, regular exercise,”said Hisako Tsuji, who is the director of the center and lead author of the study.

Not convinced yet?

Think about it: if you have a desk job where you are at least 90 percent of the time sitting in a chair, what physical activity did you get in those eight hours? Was it walking from your front door to your car in the driveway? Or was it walking to the communal lunch fridge to grab your lunch? This activity is just not enough to maintain a healthy life balance that leads away from diabetes and other medical risks.

The study highlights a considerable amount of evidence that shows how important physical activity is in the bigger picture.