Why commuting to work doesn’t mean your health has to go down the tube


In the battle against the middle-age spread, commuters have long been recommended to walk or cycle to work. But a major new study has suggested that taking public transport could also be beneficial.

Commuters who have an “active” journey to and from work have lower body-weight and body-fat composition than those who travel by car. According to the study, published in the British Medical Journal, this also includes commuters who take the train, Tube or bus to work.

The study shows that men who had an active commute were on average half a stone (3kg) lighter than men who drove to work, and women 5.5lb (2.5kg) lighter.

Nearly 150,00 body mass index and percentage body-fat measurements were taken from men and women taking part in the study, which involved 40,000 households.

Dr Ellen Flint, co-author of the report and research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said “This builds on previous research that tells us people who use public transport tend to incorporate a high level of physical activity into their journeys.”