Why Take the Bus? Because It’s Good For You

790 Blue Line downtown

790 Blue Line downtown

One of more obvious reasons for encouraging people to ride the bus is to reduce traffic congestion. It is well understood that traffic congestion affects environmental health by increasing air and noise pollution. It is also generally  understood that traffic congestion affects the health and well-being of automobile drivers by increasing their stress levels and susceptibility to road rage.[1] What people may not realize is that for “each additional hour per day spent in a motor vehicle increases the chance of being obese by six percent.[2]

In 2010, the American Public Health Association stated that “public transportation protects personal health” by reducing air pollution, reducing rates of obesity due to inactivity, and increasing access to healthcare services by lowering the cost associated with the transportation to these services.[3] What they found was that men who use public transportation are 44.6% less likely to be overweight or obese compared to men who are dependent on the automobile as their primary mode of transportation.[4] The theory is that because these men must walk to and from bus stops and transfer points they incur 19 minutes of physical activity, which is 66 % more walking time than the men who are automobile dependent.[5]

That’s right, riding the bus is good for your health. Get on the bus!

until tomorrow.

[1] SKM Consulting (2011). Understanding the Relationship between Cyclists and Drivers, p.48

[2] Victoria State Government (2012). Victoria’s Cycling Strategy: Cycling Into the Future 2013-2023, p. 9.

[3] American Public Health Association. The Benefits of Public Transportation: The Route to Better Personal Health (2011).

[4] American Public Health Association (2010), Public Transportation: A Link to Better Health and Equity.

[5] FTA: Alternative Transportation and Your Health. FTA web site visited 2013 20, February. http://www.fta.dot.gov/14504.htm


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