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Long commutes could damage your health?

health-and-fitness Updated: May 09, 2012 13:00 IST

IANS
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Overall health of people who spend long hours behind the steering wheel commuting to and from office is likely to be affected, says a study.

A report by the Washington University in St. Louis has found that greater commuting distances were linked with increased cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF), increased weight, and other indicators of metabolic risk.

"This study yields new information about biological outcomes and commuting distance -- an under-studied contributor to sedentary behaviour prevalent among employed adults," said lead investigator Christine M. Hoehner, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reported.

"The study provides important evidence about potential mediators in the relationship between time spent driving and cardiovascular mortality," Hoehner said.

Based on a survey of 4,297 people, researchers found that those who drove longer distances to work reported less frequent participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity and decreased CRF, and had greater BMI (height to weight ratio), waist circumference, and blood pressure, according to the university's statement.

Those who commuted more than 24 km to work were less likely to meet recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity, and had a higher likelihood of obesity. Commuting distances greater than 10 miles were associated with high blood pressure.