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Active Commuting Linked to Heart Health

Those who walk or cycle to work have fewer heart attacks.

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Active commuting for heart health

University of Leeds researchers in England found an association between heart health and active commuting among data for 43 million British working adults ages 25–74. The data, from the 2011 U.K. Census, showed that 11.4% of workers used active transport—8.6% walked and 2.8% cycled.

Data analysis showed that, for women who walked to work and men who cycled to work, there was an associated 1.7% lower incidence of heart attack during the following year. Study authors noted that while the effect of active commuting is modest when compared with other factors that influence heart health—such as smoking, obesity or diabetes—it still shows potential for widespread improvements in health and well-being.

Governments also need to support infrastructure changes to enhance the safety of cycling and walking routes so people feel more confident about not using cars.

Find the study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (2019; doi:10.1177/2047487 319876228).

See also: Bike to Work, Live Longer

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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