People who walk to work are 40 percent less likely to have diabetes, and 17 percent less likely to have high blood pressure, as compared to those who commute via driving or taking a taxi.

Anthony A. Laverty, from Imperial College London (United Kingdom), and colleagues studied how various health indicators correlated to how people get to work. Utilizing data from the Understanding Society survey, involving over 20,000 residents of the United Kingdom, the team found that cycling, walking, and using public transport were all associated with lower risk of being overweight than driving or taking a taxi. Cyclists were around half as likely to have diabetes as drivers. The study authors urge: “The protective association between active travel and cardiovascular risk demonstrated in this nationally representative study adds to growing evidence that concerted policy focus in this area may benefit population health.”


  1. Anthony A. Laverty, Jennifer S. Mindell, Elizabeth A. Webb, Christopher Millett. “Active Travel to Work and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in the United Kingdom.” Am J Preventive Medicine, September 2013, Vol. 45, No. 3, pages 282–8.