By: Brenda Neugent
If your commute to work is short enough to be tackled on foot, you might want to consider setting your alarm a little earlier. Not only could you save big bucks on gas, according to a new study, you might also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The study was based on analysis of data from 20,000 residents of the United Kingdom which examined how the way they traveled to work impacted their health.
In addition to being less likely to be overweight or obese, those who walked to work were 40 percent less likely to develop diabetes and 17 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure compared to those who drove, rode a motorcycle, or hailed a taxi.
Cyclists and those who used public transportation-presumably that which required a walk to a bus stop or train station-also had a lower risk of both diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the study, which appeared last month in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
“This study highlights that building physical activity into the daily routine by walking, cycling or using public transport to get to work is good for personal health,” said Anthony Laverty, a researcher at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.
Of course that doesn’t mean you have to move to a city in order to reap the benefits of commuting to work on foot.
According to a study from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, those at risk of developing diabetes can cut their risk in half by exercising an hour a day and eating a low-fat diet.
In addition to lowering the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, those who got moving also lowered their risk of circulatory and heart diseases.