Latest News » Walking or biking to work may benefit mental health

Biking to work may lead to less stress for commuters.

Do you walk, bike, drive or take public transportation to work? New research shows what you choose for your daily commute can affect your health.

A new study out of the UK shows that biking or walking to work, as opposed to driving, leads to better brain health. According to the study, which was conducted at the University of East Anglia, commuters experienced lower stress levels and higher concentration after switching from driving to work, to riding a bike or walking.

The study, published in Preventive Medicine, was based on data collected from commuters between the ages of 18 and 65. According to HealthDay News, the researchers looked at the psychological health of close to 18,000 participants. They found that walking and biking to work carried both mental and physical health benefits leading to better concentration and diminished feelings of stress.

The researchers also discovered that those who took public transportation also felt better compared to when driving.

"You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress. But as buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialize, and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station, it appears to cheer people up," said Adam Martin, lead researcher from the University of East Anglia's medical school, in an official statement. 

The length of time spent driving also played a role in participants' feelings of well-being, as the study revealed that longer walking commutes led participants to feel better. Longer car rides had the opposite effect.

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