Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More research on "active transportation" and health.

The Washington Post this week reported on a new study further documenting the inverse correlation between active transportation and obesity rates. For example:

United States: 12% active transportation use, 25-33% obesity
Sweden: 62% active transportation use, 9% obesity
Netherlands: 52% active transportation use, 11% obesity

Anne Lusk, a research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, said the study's results make sense.

"What I found most exciting about this excellent research is the applicability," she said. "The issue then becomes should we improve our transit, walking or bicycling opportunities simultaneously or should we focus on one of the three?"

Lusk said her first choice is bicycles - and not just because of global warming, fluctuating gas prices or the economic downturn. When Dutch researchers asked people to match emotions with various forms of travel, she said, "The greatest emotion was joy for bicycling."

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