An alarming new study warns obese people who travel to work by car, have a higher risk of premature death.
For the study, researchers examined data on more than 163,000 adults in the UK. The participants were between the ages of 37 and 73 and were followed for almost five years.
According to the results, obese people who commuted by car had a 32% higher risk of premature death than those people with a normal weight who either walked or cycled to work.The team also found the risk of dying from heart disease was significantly high for obese people who commuted to work by cark. Researchers defined obesity as having a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30. The findings suggest walking or cycling to work is a better alternative than driving.
"Our findings, if causal, suggest that people with overweight or obesity could potentially decrease the risk of premature mortality if they engage in active commuting," researcher Edward Toke-Bjolgerud and his colleagues at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, told a news portal.
While heading to the gym or taking a fitness class may be difficult to squeeze into most people's hectic schedule, active commuting can help you get in some exercise into your daily routine. "At the same time, [it] could increase our overall physical activity levels and therefore help to meet the current physical activity recommendations for health," the study authors stated in a press release. The study's findings will be presented in Glasgow at a meeting of the European Congress on Obesity.
Multiple studies have found a sedentary lifestyle can also increase the risk of early death. One study found replacing half an hour of sitting time with physical activity can drastically improve one's health. "These findings suggest that the replacement of modest amounts of sitting time even with light physical activity may have the potential to reduce the risk of premature death among less active adults," authors of this study told a news portal.
Another research warned the sedentary lifestyle is worse than smoking. "Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker," Wael Jaber, senior author of the study told a news portal. Adding, "We've never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this."
What's more, making time to do a little exercise in the day can benefit you no matter what your age."The benefits of exercise were seen across all ages and in both men and women, "probably a little more pronounced in females," Jaber told a news portal. Adding, "Whether you're in your 40s or your 80s, you will benefit in the same way."