Buses are good for your health!

New research reveals taking the bus can be good for your health and could help tackle the obesity epidemic in the UK. Nearly half (44%) of UK adult bus users use the walk to the bus stop as a way of getting regular exercise. Four out of ten (42%) of those surveyed also said they feel healthier and fitter because of travelling by bus and more than half (59%) said that the bus gives them the chance to get some fresh air.

Physical inactivity causes premature deaths, obesity and costs the UK billions of pounds every year. It is vital that people incorporate regular physical activity into their everyday lives – walking to the bus stop can be one easy way to achieve this, especially since nine out of ten (87%) of households in the UK are within a six-minute walk of a bus stop. One in five bus users walk over half a mile from their home to the bus stop every day, which is five miles every week if commuting by bus to work. One in ten of bus users walk over a mile to their bus stop – the equivalent of ten miles every week. Greener Journeys research found that the daily short walk to and from bus stop and destination can burn 22,630 calories a year, with daily bus users clocking up the annual equivalent of 11 marathons.

More than half (58%) of 25-34 year olds said the bus made them feel fitter healthier, as did half (52%) of those aged 65 or over. Over half (54%) of 18-24 year olds said walking to the bus enables them to take regular exercise, which increases to 60% among those aged 65 or over.

The bus can also be a way to relax and de-stress after a long day at work or school: 13% of people said that the bus helps them unwind after work – one in three said it was relaxing and enjoyable to take the bus. Over a fifth of 25-34 year olds (21%) say taking the bus helps them unwind after work.

Catch the Bus Week Ambassador, Olympian gold medallist, Anna Watkins MBE, said: “Regular physical exercise is vital to stay fit and healthy. However, incorporating this into our day-to-day lives can be difficult and as a new mother, I really recognise this. Taking the bus is a great way to get daily exercise and is much less stressful and cheaper than driving. Why not get off the bus a few stop earlier and walk a little further – those extra few minutes walking can burn extra calories that you would not get if you travelled by car.”

The real health benefits from exercise occur when it is regular. Furthermore, according Dr David Lewis, Chairman and Director of Research at Mindlab International, research demonstrates that buses "can also be a way to unwind and de-stress. Overall it is clear that using the bus instead of the car could enhance both personal and national wellbeing.”

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