Pedal power: Drivers 4kg heavier than those who cycle, say study | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Pedal power: Drivers 4kg heavier than those who cycle, say study

Here’s one more convincing reason why you should stop driving to office. No, it is not just because of the stress of driving on crowded roads. According to a study, those who use cars as their main form of transport are, on average, 4kg heavier than those who cycle.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 12, 2016 11:45 IST
AFP
Experts say that if you integrate cycling into your daily lives, such as going to work or going shopping, then it means you won’t have to make special time commitments for exercises. It is also more affordable, they say.
Experts say that if you integrate cycling into your daily lives, such as going to work or going shopping, then it means you won’t have to make special time commitments for exercises. It is also more affordable, they say. (Shutterstock)

Here’s one more convincing reason why you should stop driving to office. No, it is not just because of the stress of driving on crowded roads. According to a study, those who use cars as their main form of transport are, on average, 4kg heavier than those who cycle.

This was revealed by a EU-funded Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project which looked at 11,000 volunteers in seven European cities to study the effect of transport choices on levels of physical activity and health. The project, led by a team of international experts including Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation, asked individuals to provide information on which mode of transport they use to travel around their city, how much time they spend travelling, and their attitudes towards walking and cycling. Volunteers are also asked to record their height and weight.

Read: An hour-long brisk walk can take you a long way

Although the team admit that they cannot yet draw conclusions about the cause and effect of their results, they believe the initial findings are “intriguing”. The project now aims to recruit an additional 14,000 individuals in the European cities of Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Rome, Vienna, Zurich and Orebro in Sweden, in order to research further.

With obesity on the rise at an alarming rate, the link between physical inactivity and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease has already been well-documented.

Read: Sedentary lifestyle costs $67.5bn, 5mn lives a year

The researchers believe that their results could provide insight on how people make their transport decisions and how cities can encourage individuals to choose walking and cycling over driving in an effort to increase levels of physical activity.

Dr Audrey de Nazelle from Imperial College London also commented on the results: “If people can integrate this into their daily lives, such as going to work or going shopping, then it means you don’t have to make special time commitments and it’s more affordable for everybody. Getting people to walk and bike as part of their daily transport modes is really an ideal solution to try to tackle this epidemic of physical inactivity.”