Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Increased Physical Activity - Transit Walking
We are all aware of the ongoing obesity epidemic in the USA. Coupled with a lack of exercise is an excess consumption of calories. Are there novel ways of meeting exercise requirements through everyday tasks? 

Here is an intriguing read from the American Journal of Public HealthThe investigators examined transit walk times using the National Household Travel Survey administered by the US Department of Transportation.

Not surprisingly, people are more likely to transit walk if they are from lower income households, are non-White, and live in large urban areas with access to rail systems.  Of note, however, transit walkers in large urban areas with a rail system were 72% more likely to transit walk 30 minutes or more per day than were those without a rail system.

 From 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of transit walkers rose from 7.5 million to 9.6 million (a 28% increase); those whose transit-associated walking time was 30 minutes or more increased from approximately 2.6 million to 3.4 million (a 31% increase). 

What does this mean? Transit walking may contribute to meeting physical activity recommendations. This study does not assess whether transit walking actually resulted in health benefits for the respondents. Reasonable and sustainable increases in physical activity should not be detrimental, however. 

Here is a prior post on tasks that may get us back to our lean, hunter-gatherer primal selves.

Get off the couch.

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