In an earlier post, I talked about how driving cars can lead you to being overweight, and that all that extra weight costs us quite a bit in extra fuel use and costs. It is hard to argue the point considering that America has both extensive weight and traffic problems. That left me wondering though; is public transportation healthier for you?
According to a study from the American Public Transportation Association, people who live in areas with extensive public transit live longer, healthier lives. They wouldn’t be unbiased, would they?
There is no doubt that people near public transportation tend to walk more, and inactivity is a leading cause of obesity. So I genuinely believe there is some truth to this study. Hell, having been to Manhattan many times over, it still surprises me by how skinny many of those people are. Walking is just not an option in many communities in Connecticut because people here tend to be more… isolated. Even if the food mart is only a mile or two away, sidewalks generally aren’t available to many people in my state because we live so far off the beaten path. Also, the less you drive, the less likely you are to be in a car accident, which is one of the leading causes of death in this country.
However, the study does not seem to take in account air pollution. One cannot argue that many of the places with the best public transportation tend to be large cities. Large cities tend to have horrible air quality. Poor air quality can lead to substantial health issues down the road. Then there is the fact that cramming into a crowded subway car with a bunch of people is a great way to spread disease. That may not make up for less walking and car accidents, but I remain a stout defender of the country lifestyle. And of course, seeing as how the APTA commissioned the study, there might be just a little bit of bias there.
Source: AutoBlogGreen | Image: Chris DeMorro