The duration of the trip mileage from home to work it can affect a person's health condition. Recent research found that the longer the time you drive between home and office, the less likely a person to be able to exercise, further widening waistline and overall heart health worsens.
These findings involving nearly 4300 workers in the United States that Texas town every day to travel from home to office and then compared with health risk factors.
"Previous studies have looked sedentary behaviors like watching television and total driving time," says study leader, Christine Hoehner, an assistant professor in public health sciences division, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.
"But we want to look specifically at how distance can affect the health risk, because it is an important part of daily routine," he added.
"What we found was that the long traffic jams can take exercise (exercise) and are associated with risk of hypertension, overweight and lower fitness levels," said Hoehner, who will publish his findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in June 2012.
According to the researchers, the number of workers walking to work by using a private car jumped more than doubled between 1960 and 2000, an increase of more than 41 million to nearly 113 million. Average distance to travel for work has also been growing in recent years, from nearly nine miles in 1983 to more than 12 miles in 2001.
The new study focused on the daily activities of both adult Texans who live in the Dallas / Fort Worth or Austin area. Each participant involved in the study had no history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes, and not being pregnant.
At some point between 2000 and 2007, all participants underwent a comprehensive medical tests, including treadmill designed to determine the condition of heart and lung fitness. They also reported the level of daily exercise for three months before the study.
Researchers found that participants with the longest trip distances tend to exercise less. They also have low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, body mass index (BMI) higher, wider waist size and high blood pressure.
In particular, the distance traveled over 10 miles or more have been associated with a higher risk of hypertension, whereas more than 15 miles associated with the risk of obesity and less likely to perform physical activity.
This trend is not lost even after the researchers took into account the time spent exercising. These findings suggest that there is something that influences from the journey itself can be detrimental to heart health.
"The findings suggest that motorists who travel long distances, tend to burn fewer calories overall, even if they exercise the same amount as the rider who travels a shorter route," Hoehner said.
"Although we did not measure it, stress on the possibility of journey also influence, particularly if passengers faced with congestion," he explained.
What to do? "People can not easily change their work, which meant a trip by car is different from other sedentary activities may be further modified, such as watching TV," Hoehner said.
"The message here is that people need to find creative ways to build physical activity into their daily lives," he said.
"And it can be done in a simple way such as more frequent runs. It would be more effective if the office encourage more workers to do the exercises at recess," Hoehner said.