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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Ride Transit, Lose Weight?


Did you know the Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity for fitness and weight control?
One easy way to get your 30 minutes in….Take Transit.  Studies show people who take transit are four times more likely than car commuters to achieve 30 minutes of exercise a day, simply by walking to and from the stop.[1]  Furthermore, 30 percent of transit riders routinely surpass the 30 minute mark.[2]
Commuting by transit is an easy and low cost
way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.  By simply walking to your stop and work place you can often meet your daily exercise goals!
What if I already take transit?  What if my transit stop is too close?
If your transit commute is not getting you the desired 30 minutes, consider the following modifications to your journey:
  • Get off early - Jump off the bus or MAX a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Walk to the next zone - Do you live near a zone border?  Why not walk to the next zone - save money and increase your fitness.   
  • Walk it one way - Consider commuting one way by foot and the other on transit.  Not only will it add variety to your commute, but a walk is a great way to prep for the day or wind down afterwards.
  • Incorporate errands into your transit commute - Get off the bus at shopping center near your home, conduct your daily errands and walk home from there.  Or if you have a lot to pick up, walk to downtown businesses to get it all and then hop on transit to get it all home.
  • Take an adventure - Instead of taking the bus home, hop on and explore someplace new!

[1] Wener, Richard E. & Evans, Gary W.  A Morning Stroll: Levels of Physical Activity in Car and Mass Transit Commuting.  Environment and Behavior, 2007; 39: 62-74.
[2] Besser, Lilah M. & Dannenberg, Andrew L.  Walking to Public Transit: Steps to Help Meet Physical Activity Recommendations.  American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2005; 29(4): 273-280.


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