A  A  A   Print
Walking to Work Tied to Lower Diabetes Risk

Walking to Work Tied to Lower Diabetes Risk

TUESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- People who walk to work are 40 percent less likely to develop diabetes and 17 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who drive, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from 20,000 U.K. residents to examine how the ways they traveled to work affected their health.

Walking, cycling and using public transit all were linked to a lower risk of being overweight than driving or taking a taxi. People who bicycled to work were about half as likely to have diabetes as those who commuted by car.

The study also found that 19 percent of people who used private transport -- such as cars, motorcycles or taxis -- to get to work were obese, contrasted with 15 percent of those who walked and 13 percent of those who cycled.

Modes of getting to work varied widely in different parts of the United Kingdom. For example, 52 percent of people in London used public transit, compared with 5 percent in Northern Ireland, according to the study appearing Aug. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

High blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight all are major risk factors for heart and circulatory disease. The new findings show that people could reduce their risks of serious health problems such as heart attacks by avoiding car commutes, the researchers said.

"This study highlights that building physical activity into the daily routine by walking, cycling or using public transport to get to work is good for personal health," Anthony Laverty, of the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said in a college news release.

"The variations between regions suggest that infrastructure and investment in public transport, walking and cycling can play a large role in encouraging healthy lives, and that encouraging people out of the car can be good for them as well as the environment," he said.

Although the researchers uncovered an association between walking or cycling to work and decreased risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, they did not necessarily prove a cause-and-effect link.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases offers tips to help you get active.

SOURCE: Imperial College London, news release, Aug. 6, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.