Friday, December 19, 2008

Is Your Car Making You Fat?

Researchers at the University of Tennessee and Rutgers University recently found a strong link between "active transportation" and obesity rates, meaning that in countries where more people opt for walking, bicycling, and taking mass transit have lower rates of obesity. Essentially, this means that by avoiding cars, people can burn more calories (pretty straightforward).

Some stats:
  • Europeans walk an average of 237 miles each year and bike another 116, while Americans walk 87 miles and bike 24.
  • The Swiss take an average of 9,700 steps each day, compared to 7,200 for the Japanese and 5,900 for Americans.
  • 12 percent of Americans use active transportation: 9 percent walk, 1 percent ride a bike and 2 percent take a bus or train; over 25% of Americans are obese.
With all the goodies around the office these days, I know I'm a bit concerned about putting on some extra holiday weight. I think I'm going to make an effort to engage in active transit more frequently...especially on nice days when the 40 minutes of walking to & from the Metro will be pleasant!

Visit the original study.
Article from AP
Article from Wired

Image source: Car Whisperer


Anonymous said...

I've always found it amusing that people take the car to the gym.

I'm currently theorising that metalwork counts as exercise and plan to do some estimates of calories for different activities such as sawing, filing etc.

Green-A said...

hey, i don't have a car, but i am still fat....what gives?

Jodi "Millennial 4 Earth" Williams said...

hrm...probably the neverending boxes of truffles that keep appearing around the office are not helping...good thing the box left on this side has only the gross flavors remaining (pb&j truffle anyone?)

and i love the idea of metalwork = exercise. women's health magazine frequently lists the number of calories burned for activities such as lawn mowing, etc. why not metal work!?!

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