Taking public transportation isn't just good for the planet, it's good for your heart too. According to a new study from the University of British Columbia, do gooders on trains and buses meet or exceed the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's suggested daily minimum of physical activity.Researchers looked at 4,156 travel surveys from Atlanta, Georgia, to see whether transit and car trips were associated with increased fitness. It turnsout--surpise!--that transit trips increase physical activity.
According to Science Codex:
Because transit trips by bus and train often involve walking to and from stops, the study found that users are more likely to meet the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, five days a week.
According to the study, people who drove the most were the least likely to meet the recommended level of physical activity.
"The idea of needing to go to the gym to get your daily dose of exercise is a misperception," says Frank, the J. Armand Bombardier Chairholder in Sustainable Transportation and a researcher at the UBC Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. "These short walks throughout our day are historically how we have gotten our activity. Unfortunately, we've engineered this activity out of our daily lives."
The study should come as good news to those who have advocated for increased investment in mass transit. President Obama's stimulus bill included big bucks for mass transit projects. A solid list of projects earmarked for cash can be found here.