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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Public Transit Users More Likely to Get Moderate Exercise

People who use public transportation are more likely to meet physical activity recommendations, according to new research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.


[Photo: Dr. J. Aaron Hipp]

Researchers surveyed 772 adults in St. Louis about public transportation.  Those who used public transportation for five or more days in the previous week were 8 times more likely to meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention physical activity guidelines by walking for transportation.

The study found that persons aged 60 or older were less likely to use public transportation, as were people who reported high traffic speeds or high crime in their neighborhoods.

“Our results strengthen the evidence base demonstrating that public transportation use can support people in meeting moderate physical activity recommendations,” wrote the study’s lead authors, Ms. Marissa Zwald, and Dr. J. Aaron Hipp, assistant professor at the Brown School. Decreasing traffic speed and improving safety around bus stops and train stations could increase ridership and the walking or cycling to the public transit stop that goes with it, he said.

The study was published July 3 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

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