Hang Up Your Car Keys

So why is it that obesity issues always seem to weigh heaviest on Americans? Just about every news report and research paper that comes out has us at or near the top in overweight statistics. Yet another study, recently published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health, may provide some insight.

Scientists theorized that there would be a strong correlation between active transportation, defined as walking, biking or taking public transportation, and obesity rates. Between 1994 and 2004, they examined surveys and data collected by government agencies in Europe, North America and Australia. Turns out, they were right. Americans and Canadians were both fatter and less active than their European and Australian counterparts.

The Bigger Picture: The typical American walks 87 miles a year compared to the typical European's 237 miles. The annual mileage gap for bicycling is equally dramatic, with Americans peddling just 25 compared to the European average of 117. Hanging up your car keys and walking or biking to nearby destinations might be a good start for those who are looking to shed some unwanted pounds. And in the coming winter months, your options expand to include cross-country skiing, shoveling the walks and drive, plus pulling your kid's sled up the hill – over and over again.
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