Tokyo: Taking a bus or train to work instead of personal car may have positive effects on your overall health including a lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and better weight management, says a new study.
It is well established that a physically active lifestyle helps reduce the risks of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
"People should consider taking public transportation instead of a car, as a part of daily, regular exercise," said lead author Hisako Tsuji from Moriguchi City Health Examination Centre in Osaka.
The new study compared bus/train commuters, walkers/bikers and drivers. Interestingly, the bus/train commuters had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and overweight than the walkers or bikers.
"If it takes longer than 20 minutes one-way to commute by walking or cycling, many people seem to take public transportation or a car in urban areas of Japan," Tsuji said.
The study included 5,908 adults with an average age between 49 and 54 years. In each commuting group most of the drivers were men, more women than men used public transportation or walked or biked to get to work.
"Physical activity may be more effective at reducing diabetes among this population than it is among Western population," Tsuji said.
The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions recently.