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Sitting in traffic linked to weight gain & widening waistlines
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traffic congestion


Hate sitting in traffic? Prepare to hate it some more after results from a recent study show that sitting in traffic can actually lead to weight gain and widening waistlines. These results are particularly alarming when you consider that your waistline, which is a measure of abdominal fat, can be an indicator of an increased risk of other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Professor Takemi Sugiyama, from the Australian Catholic University's Institute for Health and Ageing, led the study which included 2,800 adults in Adelaide. The research measured the driving habits of individuals against certain health measures such as body mass index and waist circumference.

Results showed that those who spent an hour or more a day sitting in traffic weighed 2.3 kilograms more and had a 1.5cm wider waist than those who spend 15 minutes or less a day in their cars. Interestingly the study also found that those living 20km or further from the CBD experienced an average increase in waistline of 2.4cm over four years. Comparatively, those living within 9km of the CBD had half the waistline increase on average, at 1.2cm over four years.

Professor Sugiyama says that there is now a “compelling body of evidence of the adverse health impact of prolonged time spent in cars”. He added, “The findings highlight the need for greater collaboration between the health, planning and transport sectors.” Alternative methods of transport such as walking, riding and even catching trams and trains are not only beneficial a person’s health but will also reduce traffic congestion along with greenhouse gas emissions.

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 July 2017 11:12

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