From the Annals of “Duh” Research

I just read a headline that goes along nicely with my item yesterday about biking to the grocery store. Apparently, researchers found that people who bike or walk rather than commute in their cars lose weight. Honestly, did this research result actually surprise anyone?

After adjusting the data to account for other factors that might contribute to weight loss, the researchers found that people who switched from using a car to walking, cycling or public transit had an average weight loss of about 2.2 pounds.

What surprises me here is that the public transit users saw a reduction as well as the walkers and bikers. This only surprises me because I have not been keeping up on the research in this area. (I feel so bad about that, too!) The article reporting the study cites 6 different journal articles dealing with the correlation between public transport and an active lifestyle. And unless your bus stops are as close as your garage or as your parking spot at work, then it makes sense that you’ll be doing some walking in order to reach the ride.

Public transit, biking, and walking aren’t for everyone. I could walk 1.4 miles to a bus stop and then board the first of three buses that would take me 1 hour and 46 minutes later to the door of my employer. A safe bike route would be some 27 miles and at least 2 hours. Doing that twice a day isn’t terribly realistic. Still, the idea of replacing car trips with more active trips when possible seems like a worthy one to explore.

The original journal article is available online.