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Portland Bureau of Transportation

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Can driving less make us healthier?


The sage at Rutgers University, John Pucher, offers us a couple of slides to illustrate two punchy facts: countries that drive more are less healthy, and small changes can make a big change in your health.

First, Pucher demonstrates the link between obesity and driving rates:

Secondly, he cites a study from the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal that shows how just making a small change in our level of physical activity provides a big batch of health benefits. Check out what 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as robust walking) five days a week can do for you: 

How can we get this coveted 30 minutes of exercise five days a week with ease?

What do most of us do every day? We go to work. Your commute is a perfect way to normalize an exercise routine without having to buy a gym membership or buy a fancy pants exercise machine. Taking transit affords great and easy opportunities to walk: just get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way. Biking is another way. Even if you carpool you can! When you're not the driver, just ask your buddy to drop you off 30 minutes from your house.


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