If the thought of public transport makes you roll your eyes and reach anxiously for your car keys, read on. A growing body of research shows that swapping the car for the bus or train might be one of the best things you could do for your physical and mental health.
It’s well publicised that travelling by public transport is generally better for the environment than taking the car, but what about the health benefits? Could sitting on a bus actually make you fitter, healthier and happier? It sounds incredible, but it might just be true.
One reason is that people who use public transport have been shown, on average, to do four times as much exercise as motorists – usually through walking or cycling to and from bus stops and train stations. A few ten-minute walks might not seem much, but bear in mind that just 30 minutes exercise a day reduces the risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers and 13 different types of cancer. In fact, getting the bus or train could mean that you meet the NHS recommended exercise requirements without ever setting foot in a gym.