Girl driving car
(Stock Free Images)

People driving to work every day are packing on more pounds than their colleagues on trains, buses and bikes, according to a new study from Australia.

“Even if you are efficiently active during leisure time, if you use a car for commuting daily then that has an impact on weight gain,” lead author Takemi Sugiyama of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne told Reuters Health.

Among people in the study who got at least two and a half hours of weekly exercise, car commuters gained an average of four pounds over four years - one pound more than people who got to work another way or worked from home.

Of 822 study participants, only those who got enough weekly exercise and never drove to work managed to stave off any weight gain over the course of the study.

Participants who didn’t get enough weekly exercise also gained weight, but how much they gained wasn’t tied to their mode of getting to work, according to results published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Simply achieving the amount of moderate physical activity otherwise recommended won’t provide enough compensation to overcome the effect of commuting for a long period of time,” said Lawrence Frank of the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

But there are probably other factors at work that were not considered in the study, noted Frank, who was not involved in the new research.

“People who have longer commutes tend to purchase a lot of their food and run a lot of errands on their way to and from work,” which could influence weight gain, Frank told Reuters Health.

And 80 percent of car trips are non-commuting, he points out.

Previous studies that focused on total time spent in cars per day have also found a link to becoming overweight or obese.

A 2004 study of adults in Atlanta, Georgia, found that each additional hour of time spent in a car each day was associated with a six percent increase in the chances of obesity.

“Commuting is a truly important predictor of obesity,” Frank said.

In Australia, about 80 percent of working adults take a car to work every day - similar to the 86 percent figure in the U.S.

But many of those people don’t have another option, said Sugiyama, who researches health risks in daily life.

“The message is, if possible try to avoid cars, but for many people that sort of choice isn’t available,” he said.

That’s largely due to the layout of cities and suburban areas, according to Frank, a registered landscape architect. “Spreading growth out, and building cities to add cheaper housing at the outskirts is a problem,” he said.

“It’s the responsibility of government to provide public transport to and from work, and design neighborhoods where short walks are accessible to people,” said Sugiyama. “But that’s a long term solution.”

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit