Lose weight on the low-car diet!

What’s your commute doing for you?  If you take public transit regularly, it may help you stay lean and green. 

Researchers studying our light-rail using friends over  in Charlotte found that those commuters were about 6.45 pounds lighter than those that drove alone.  Residents living near the Lynx South Corridor Light Rail Line were surveyed before it was built to gauge their opinions on their neighborhood and to get some of their vital statistics. Six to eight months after the line was completed, a follow up survey was done.  On average, those who used light rail more than once a week for eight months lost between 6.45 and 7 pounds.

It’s not hard to understand why, explains researcher, John M. MacDonald, “It could add an extra mile a day [of walking] for the average rider. Over the course of year, that mile a day will translate into substantial loss of weight.”

Canadian researchers, too, have identified public transit’s positive impact on the health of its users. Using travel surveys from the Atlanta area, the study found that those who use mass transit are three times more likely to meet minimum activity recommendations.  The results are attributed to the extra walking required to take the bus or train.  

Incorporating exercise into daily life is a painless way to make sure that we get the physical activity we need.  We’ve long known that mass transit allows users to read, get a jump on their work, listen to music, or just relax while not stressing about getting to work.  Now we can add losing weight to the list of things you can do while riding the bus.

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