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09 November 2015

Can catching a bus be healthier than walking to work?

A new American Heart Association study suggests that traveling per bus lowers the risk of diabetes and hypertension even more than walking.

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Taking the bus or train to work may be even healthier than walking, according to a new study published by the American Heart Association.

"Bus/train commuters had even lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and overweight than the walkers or bikers," according to a press release about the findings, which were presented at the AHA's Scientific Sessions 2015 meeting this.

The study, which was conducted in Japan, found that compared to drivers, public transport riders were 44 percent less likely to be overweight, 27 percent less likely to have high blood pressure and 34 percent less likely to have diabetes.

Read: Bicycling the 'happiest' form of transport

But, in a rather counterintuitive result, somewhat improved health benefits were also seen in comparison with walkers and bikers, researchers said.

They suggested that one explanation could be that commuters actually walked farther to and from the train or bus station than people who biked or walked to and from work.

"If it takes longer than 20 minutes one way to commute by walking or cycling, many people seem to take public transportation or a car in urban areas of Japan," said lead study author Hisako Tsuji, director of the Moriguchi City Health Examination Centre in Osaka, Japan.

Read more:

How exercise can help you manage your diabetes

Walk your way to a healthier body

5 things every runner should know

Image: Woman waiting on a bus from iStock

 
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