Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Leaner nations bike, walk, use mass transit

It's well known that the majority of the population is overweight. According to a recent Harvard Men's Health Watch newsletter, more than two-thirds of all Americans weigh more than they should. "All in all, obesity and lack of exercise are responsible for about 1,000 deaths in the U.S. each day."

Most bicyclists know about the health benefits of bicycling, especially bicycling to work which provides a daily workout while simply getting to work. According to the Associated Press article Study: Leaner nations bike, walk, use mass transit, "New research illustrates the health benefits of regular biking, walking or taking public transportation to work, school or shopping. Researchers found a link between 'active transportation' and less obesity in 17 industrialized countries across Europe, North America and Australia."

'Countries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates,' authors David Bassett of the University of Tennessee and John Pucher of Rutgers University conclude."

Also featured in the article is the above bike commuter: "Jim Richards is no kid, but he loves to ride his bike. At 51, he has become a cycling commuter, pedaling 11 miles from his home in the suburbs to his job in downtown Knoxville.

'It really doesn't take that much longer' than driving, he insists.

And he gets 40 minutes of exercise twice a day without going to the gym, which he attributes to a 20-pound weight loss."

Hat tip to Paul for pointing out this article.

Visit co-author John Pucher's website for some excellent bike-related research publications.

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