Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates, driving even one less mile per day associated with better health | University of Illinois

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

“As local communities seek to allocate public funds to projects that will provide the most benefit to their residents, our research suggests that investing in convenient and affordable public transit systems may improve public health by reducing obesity, thereby providing more value than had been previously thought,” said Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science at Illinois. He conducted the study with graduate student Zhaowei She and Douglas M. King, a lecturer of industrial and enterprise systems engineering. . . .

The latest findings correlate well with previous work by Jacobson and King that found a reduction in daily driving, even by a mile a day, was associated with a reduction in body mass index.

“The choice to ride public transit instead of driving can create an opportunity for physical activity,” Jacobson said. “For example, when someone rides a bus, they may begin their trip by walking from their home to a bus stop before boarding the bus. Then, once they get off of the bus, they may still need to walk from a bus stop to their destination. Alternatively, if they had driven a car, they might simply drive directly from their home to their destination and eliminate the walking portion of the trip.”

Share this: