Good morning, and why your commute can kill you
Study shows correlation between commutes of 10 miles or more and ill health effects.
It seems like these days everything is bad for you and will kill you faster. From the food you eat to the neighborhood in which you live, to the number of hours you sleep, you always seem to wind up in the column of people who may as well plan on dying young. Well, just to round out the list, here's another thing that can kill you: the length of your morning commute.
Apparently, this can kill you too.
These days commutes are getting longer according to figures from the US Census Bureau and researchers wanted to see if those longer commutes had any ill effects on health.
Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis Missouri, studied almost 4,300 commuters and found a correlation between the distance travelled in commutes and poorer health.
Christine Hoehner, the study's lead researcher said, "The main finding is that the study was the first to show that long commutes can take away from exercise and are associated with higher weight, lower fitness levels and higher blood pressure, and all of these are strong predictors of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers."
She added, "It really looked specifically and with objective outcomes at how long commuting really affects health."
The study evaluated commuters and their drives in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin areas and the surrounding counties. An estimated 90 percent of the people in that region commute by car. The average commute of the person studies was 12 miles.
In addition to the length of the commutes, they also looked at the heart and lung health of the subjects as well as their body mass index.
The study showed that 10 miles appeared to be a threshold after which the potential unhealthful correlation became obvious. For those who drove more than 15 miles, obesity became an additional risk factor.
The researchers speculate the time spent on the commute trades off with exercise.
Hoehner suggests you exercise during your work break. "For folks that live a long way from work they need to find ways to build physical activity into their day," she said. "Driving to work has become a part of American life. There is no reason why taking walks during work breaks can't become a part of American life too."
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Commute, health, death, obesity, diabetes, cancer, exercise
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