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Mass Transit Commuters Walk 30% More than Those Who Drive

A recent article in Environment and Behavior finds that train commuters walked an average of 30% more steps per day than those who drive to work. They also reported having walked for a period of 10 minutes or more while traveling significantly more often, and were 4 times more likely to walk 10,000 steps per day (the recommended amount for healthy individuals) than car commuters.

Now I understand that it may be impossible for some of us to take the train, bus or subway to work so here are some other ways to get in more steps throughout the day:

  • Don't be competitive about your parking spot. Park at the furthest spot from your building and walk. Added bonus: No more door dings!
  • Skip the elevator and escalators and take the stairs. Added bonus: Missing out on awkward elevator chit-chat with a co-worker you don't particularly enjoy.
  • Instead of ordering your food to be delivered for lunch (or dinner), actually walk to get it. Added bonus: Actually see where you are getting food from.

I have other suggestion, so please

  • Take a 10 minute walk when you need a break. Added bonus: You actually get to take a break.
  • Instead of sending your co-worker an email, walk over to their desk and tell them what you wanted to email. Added bonus: You get the inside scoop on where to get those fab shoes she is wearing.
  • Suggest having a walking meeting instead of sitting sedentary in the conference room. Added bonus: Moving scenery gets the brain thinking much better than grey walls and a white board.
  • If all else fails, pencil in a walk when you get home (maybe your dog or significant other would want to join you). Added bonus: Fido may actually get a decent walk for once.
Join The Conversation
lady-T lady-T 10 years
i agree krisua..before we used to walk almost all the time now its with the car...im trying to walk to the next bus stop in the morning,but sometimes im late so i can't! :) but i work part-time in a restaurant so i ususally get my 10,000 steps a day..
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
Despite living in LA, and my love for driving, I've noticed that I walk A LOT more because I can't stand the parking situation around my house. If I find a spot, I grab onto it for dear life, which means more walking to the grocery store or to the restaurants nearby.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
When I lived in NYC I loved that I walked everywhere now that I am back in Portland I don't walk nearly as much as I used to!
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
What about those of us who don't even drive?? ;) LOL
ButterflyTiff ButterflyTiff 10 years
I think my commute from NJ to NYC every day on public transportation is the only thing that helps to keep my weight down somewhat.
SU3 SU3 10 years
Although I'm not able to walk or take public transportation to work... I do my fair share of walking *while* working. I'm an RN and I am on my feet 90% (maybe even more!) of the day. On breaks, my co-worker and I even do little bursts of exercises by walking up and down the stairs. :JOG:
mallomar mallomar 10 years
I also live in DC and walk everywhere. When the weather's nice and youve got your ipod it feels great to get out there and pound the pavement! Although I hear you girls on the summer commute! Humidity + suit = not fun!
inertia inertia 10 years
Public transportation is my #1 priority when I choose where to live. It's great! Even when I don't make time for exercise, I still get a decent amount of walking, and carrying my groceries home helps my upper body strength. And it's nice not to worry about who's driving when I go to a party and have a few drinks.
julieulie julieulie 10 years
Oh man, I hear you on the humidity, cravinsugar! I walk across the Key Bridge every morning (although not for long... moving back actually INTO DC next month) and in the summer, my hair is frizzed out and I am dripping with sweat. But I do always get in my 10,000 steps/day, which I definitely wouldn't if I had a car.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
haha Julieulie! I am glad I have a car, but don't dare drive it in D! I am happy to take ghettro rail, and enjoy my walks, although the humidity ruins my hair by the time i get to the office building...eh, oh well. I do take the escalators, but I walk up them...gets you to the top extra fast! _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
julieulie julieulie 10 years
I'm glad I live in DC and don't own a car. I am already dreading the inevitable future move to suburbia in the next 5ish years when it's time to settle down and start a family when I'll have to pile into the Audi instead of walking everywhere.
krisua krisua 10 years
Ever since I have a boyfriend with a car, I have noticed my daily moves getting less and less...
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