Health & Food

Long commute increases obesity, blood pressure, study says

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A new study by the American Journal for Preventive Medicine confirms what many Southern Californians already fear: sitting in traffic can be unhealthy, and quite possibly take time away from your life.

According to the study, about 16 percent of those who commute less than 10 miles a day are obese. That number jumps to about 21 percent for those who commute 11 to 15 miles a day, and it increases again to 25 percent for those who commute 16 to 20 miles a day.

The grim numbers aren't just for long commutes. Forty-five percent of short distance commuters have high blood pressure. That rises to 49 percent for those who travel 11 to 15 miles to work every day, and then to 52 percent for those who commute 16 to 20 miles to get to work.

So what can commuters do about the lack of exercise?

"When they do get to their work, they might park farther away and walk more, they may bring along with them fruits and vegetables," said Dr. Warren Peters of Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Dr. Peters says there are also ways to lower stress.

"Certainly, if they'd had a good breakfast before they left, they're not going to have low blood sugar and feel the stress quite as much, and then get a massage as often as they can," Peters said.

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Tags:
men's health, women's health, scientific study, health & food, rob mcmillan
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