It sounds like such a small effort, ten minutes of actual walking, daily. Yet a disturbing new statistic was just released in a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The data included:
- That less than a quarter (25%) of people in the U.S. do not bike, walk or use any sort of “active transportation” to get to where they need to go. This is one of the lowest rates in the world of daily activity.
- That people who do engage in activity transportation (on a regular basis) like walking or biking, have lower body mass indexes, smaller waist circumferences and lower odds of hypertension.
Interestingly enough, active transportation can also include moving a wheelchair with your arms, in-line skating, and skateboarding. It’s the idea that you are moving body parts and increasing your heart rate through movement of your body. The researchers in the study feel that active transportation is currently an untapped opportunity for daily physical activity in the US. You’ve heard fitness experts say, “Park your car a distance away from work, and walk the rest of the way; get off the subway two or three stops early and walk; take the stairs at work, at the mall, in your building.” All of these are meant to get you moving more, because we typically sit for so many of our waking hours every day.
The lead researcher of the study, who specializes in adult primary care medicine notes that physical activity has been shown to moderate conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, abnormal lipid levels, helping to reduce overall risk of heart disease. The study specifically took note of the fact that government policies and infrastructure “should focus on and encourage more active transportation with dedicated bicycle routes, and with bike and motor vehicle road sharing.” Pedestrians and bicyclists should be encouraged, without impeding traditional transportation routes. Of course, education and creativity are also part of the program - helping people to understand the basic need to move more, its health impact, and ways they can include more movement in their lives without an economic impact.
Have you stopped to track and see if you walk just ten minutes a day on a regular basis? Twenty minutes? How do you sneak physical activity into an over-scheduled day??
(Sources: www.newswise.com, American Journal of Preventive Medicine)
Published On: December 07, 2012