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Walk or Pedal to Reduce Inflammation, Which can Cause Serious Illnesses


Recent studies have suggested that commuting to work on two feet or two wheels may help reduce inflammation, which is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

According to studies from Finland, “active commuting”—walking or biking to work—for at least 45 minutes each day decreased blood levels of C-reactive protein, a blood marker for inflammation.

The team discovered that to be true even after controlling for whatever extra exercise the energetic commuters might have been doing.

They said that using the bus or vehicle to work is less environmentally friendly.

Thus, “active commuting could lead to public health benefits in addition to climate change mitigation,” according to a team headed by researcher Sara Allaouat of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.

People often experience small bursts of inflammation; this is a typical aspect of the body’s adaptive short-term immune response. But chronic inflammation can linger for months or even years, and previous studies have indicated that it can increase the risk for a number of common health issues.

It has long been known that exercise lowers inflammation.

Allaouat and her colleagues looked at the blood CRP levels and commuting habits of approximately 6,200 middle-aged Finnish professionals in the current study.

The study discovered that people who walked or rode their bike for at least 45 minutes each day experienced a 17% decrease in blood CRP levels compared to those who drove or used public transportation.

When the researchers took into account the amount of leisure-time activity the active commuters may have done or whether they also followed a healthy diet, the advantage only marginally decreased, to a 15.4% drop in CRP levels.

The effect of active commuting on inflammation was not significantly affected by exposure to air pollution, which is something that one could anticipate from riding a bicycle to work, according to the researchers.

It did appear that in order to see any significant advantages, physical commuting for at least 45 minutes was required.

The European Journal of Public Health has published the results.

According to a university news release, Allaouat stated, “Our study suggests that regular and somewhat high amount of active commuting may reduce inflammation among adults.”

“Promoting walking and cycling to work can lead to population-level health benefits as well as reduced emissions from motorised traffic.”



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