The New Norm: Active Commuting! Here is Why It's Good for You

By Holly Glaubitz, Health Educator

The benefits of biking or walking to work abound. You can save on gas, improve the environment, and reduce your risk of heart disease. A 20-year study found that people who actively commuted (walked or rode a bike) to work were healthier and in better shape than people who drove or rode to work. The study showed men reaped the biggest rewards, but they also commuted farther than the women. Here are some of the benefits: 

  • Lower body mass index
  • Lower fasting blood glucose
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower triglyceride levels

Here are some tips to get you off on the right foot with an active commute:

  • Test out your route. Pick a day when you are off from work and walk or ride to your place of employment. This will allow you to determine how much time is needed for your active commute.
  • Ease into it. You don't have to walk or bike to work every day. Your schedule may not permit doing so. Pick one or two days per week an active commute can work for you. Build on that if you can.
  • Safety first. Make sure you obey all traffic laws and don't assume motorists will see you. Keep a watchful eye out, and if you bike, make sure to wear a helmet at all times.

If an active commute just isn't possible for you, find other ways to build activity into your workday. For example, go for a walk on your lunch break, or hold a walking meeting at work. Always keep a pair of shoes and comfortable clothes in your car so you're ready to go!