An Hour Of Driving A Day Leads To 2.3 kg Weight Gain: Study

Men are more likely to put on weight and have a 1.5 cm wider waist than women if they drive an hour or more a day.

AsianScientist (Jun. 16, 2016) – People who drive an hour or more a day are 2.3 kg heavier and 1.5 cm wider around the waist compared to people who spend 15 minutes or less in their cars, research has revealed.

These findings show that the convenience of car travel has a significant impact on public health. Furthermore, men are more likely than women to put on weight due to time spent behind the wheel, according to a study that was published in Preventive Medicine.

Led by Professor Takemi Sugiyama from the Australian Catholic University’s Institute of Health and Aging, the study assessed the driving habits of 2,800 adults from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study against health measures. The researchers took into account body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, and a range of cardio-metabolic risk factors.

The study found that, relative to participants who spent 15 minutes a day or less in cars, those who spent more than one hour a day (about a quarter of the sample) were likely to have a 0.8 greater BMI—equivalent to 2.3 kg for a person with a height of 1.7 m—and 1.5 cm greater waist circumference.

As such, prolonged time spent sitting in cars of over one hour per day was associated with higher total and central adiposity and a more-adverse cardio-metabolic risk profile, Sugiyama said.

“Transport sectors have been trying to promote active travel mainly to reduce congestion, air pollution, and the proliferation of automobile-related infrastructure,” he said.

“Such efforts can be further supported by producing a compelling body of evidence on the adverse health impact of prolonged time spent in cars.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 78 percent of people use a car as the main form of transport to work.

The article can be found at: Sugiyama et al. (2016) Adverse Associations of Car Time with Markers of Cardio-Metabolic Risk.


Source: Australian Catholic University; Photo: Marvin Kuo/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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