Active Transportation Rates Dismal

by Ryan Halvorson on Feb 18, 2013

Making News

The simple act of walking offers myriad health benefits—reductions in stress, blood pressure and mortality, to name a few. Despite these benefits and the accessibility of walking, the majority of U.S. citizens do not walk continuously for more than 10 minutes in an average week.

Using data collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers looked at levels of “active transportation” (walking or bicycling, for example) as well as body mass index and waist circumference in 9,933 subjects. Study participants were aged ≥20 years, were not pregnant and had no mobility impairments.

The researchers learned that 43% of participants did not meet the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. “Overall, 76% of individuals did not walk or bike for more than 10 minutes continuously for transportation in a typical week (i.e., no active transportation), and 19% of individuals engaged in no physical activity in any form,” the authors reported. “Individuals who engaged in the highest level of active transportation, compared with those who engaged in no or low active transportation, were younger and more likely to be male, Mexican-American, lower income and less than high-school educated.”

Active transportation—both low and high amounts—was associated with lower BMI, smaller waist circumference and reduced potential for hypertension. Additionally, “compared with no active transportation, high active transportation was associated with 31% lower odds of having diabetes; the odds of having diabetes among individuals with low active transportation also were reduced, but did not reach significance,” the authors stated.

“Evidence for the diverse health benefits associated with active transportation is mounting,” the authors reported. “This study provides support for the value of active transportation in reducing the prevalence of important cardiovascular disease risk factors, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Interventions to promote the use of active transportation in the U.S. should be pursued.”

The study appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2012; 43 [6], 621–28).

IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 10, Issue 3

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson IDEA Author/Presenter

Ryan Halvorson is the associate editor for IDEA Health & Fitness Association; a Performance Specialist at Bird Rock Fit in La Jolla, CA; a Master Instructor for Metabolic Effect and the creator of www...


Trending Articles

How to Teach HIIT to Everyone

High-intensity interval training has been riding a wave of popularity, and it seems everyone wants to give it a try. However, intense interval training is nothing new. Group fitness instructors have b...

Smooth Move: Creative Additions to Consider for Smoothies

When looking for a quick breakfast or post-workout nourishment, almost nothing beats a smoothie. Whirl in the right ingredients and the blen...

20 IDEA World-Renowned Presenters Share Advice on Success and Happiness

We asked some of this year’s most influential and motivating IDEA World Fitness Convention™ presenters to share the single piece of advice they would give another fitness/health pro to hel...

Mindful Walking

Walking can be more than just moving physically from one location to another. It can be a metaphor for your larger life journey. Things you&...

Nuts and Peanuts Reduce Cardiovascular Risk and Prolong Lifespan

While there have been numerous studies in recent years touting the health benefits of nuts and peanuts, new research published online March ...

Yes, You CAN Develop Better Eating Habits

Analogous to laying out your exercise gear so it’s the first visual reminder you have of your commitment to exercise each day, imagine...

Cut Risk of Alzheimer’s with MIND Diet

Conservative adherence to a new diet, appropriately known by the acronym MIND, could significantly lower a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a paper published o...

7 Ways to Help a Client Boost Adherence

Once a client has decided to make nutritional changes to support weight loss, you can play a key role in developing an action plan that is m...

The Reason Your Clients Don't Achieve Their Goals

Lots of people hire personal trainers or join group fitness classes hoping to lose weight. Yet many fail to meet their goals. New research suggests that “progress bias”—overestimatin...

Recipe for Health: Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers

If you don’t believe that authentic Mexican cookery is “whole” and healthy, you need to take a deep dive into Mexico: The Cookbook (Phaidon 2014), the first truly comprehensive bible...

Show More