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Abandon car and stay slim - study

Thursday March 17th, 2016

Leaving the car at home helps commuters keep their weight down, according to the findings of a major study published today.

Although cycling and walking to work make a big difference to weight, using public transport also makes a difference, the London-based researchers found.

Although the findings are not surprising, the researchers say they hope it will help encourage "active commuting."

Cyclists on average enjoyed a weight reduction of about 11lbs - 5kg - compared with car users.

Those who took public transport enjoyed a weight reduction of about half this level.

The findings, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, come from an analysis of more than 150,000 people in the UK Biobank.

Researcher Dr Ellen Flint, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of ill-health and premature mortality. In England, two thirds of adults do not meet recommended levels of physical activity.

"Encouraging public transport and active commuting, especially for those in mid-life when obesity becomes an increasing problem, could be an important part of the global policy response to population-level obesity prevention.”

* A second study today casts doubt on the benefits of ideas aimed at reducing sitting at work - such as the use of "sit-stand desk."

The findings come from an analysis of 20 studies by the Cochrane Library.

Ellen Flint, Steven Cummins. Active commuting and obesity in mid-life: cross-sectional, observational evidence from UK Biobank Lancet Diabetes-Endocrinol 17 March 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)00053-X

Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 17 March 2016; doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010912.pub3 [abstract]

Tags: Diabetes | Fitness | Traveller Health | UK News

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