Study highlights benefits of active commuting to work

  • Patterson R, et al.
  • Lancet Planet Health

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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According to a new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, individuals who walk, cycle and travel by train to work are likely to have a lower risk for early mortality or illness compared with those who drive a car.

Researchers at the Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge assessed the commuting habits, and health and mortality data of more than 300,000 individuals across England and Wales.

Individuals who cycled to work had a 20 per cent lower early mortality rate, a 24 per cent lower rate of death from cardiovascular disease, a 16 per cent lower rate of death from cancer and an 11 per cent lower rate of a cancer diagnosis compared with individuals who drove to work. Walking to work was linked with a lower rate of a cancer diagnosis, compared with driving. The findings also showed that rail commuters had a 10 per cent lower rate of early mortality, a 20 per cent lower rate of cardiovascular mortality and a 12 per cent lower rate of a cancer diagnosis.

Dr Richard Patterson from the University of Cambridge, who led the study, said: "As large numbers of people begin to return to work as the COVID-19 lockdown eases, it is a good time for everyone to rethink their transport choices. With severe and prolonged limits in public transport capacity likely, switching to private car use would be disastrous for our health and the environment."