How much would our health benefit from leaving the car at home?
The WHO states that it is necessary to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. Credit: Jeremy Brooks
A new study confirms that doing short journeys on foot rather than taking the car or motorbike would avoid the death of 108 men and 79 women a year in Catalonia alone. This would imply annual savings of more than 200 million euros.
Researchers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), headed by Catherine Pérez from the Healthcare Information Systems Service, have estimated the yearly economic benefits from a reduction in death rates by substituting at least one short vehicle journey for a walk.
The authors conducted a cross-sectional study based on Catalonia's Mobility Survey performed by the Generalitat and the Metropolitan Transport Agency in 2006 which documents the journeys of more than one hundred thousand people.
Then, 80,552 individuals over 17 years of age who did at least one journey were selected and researchers calculated the number of men and women who did not meet daily physical exercise recommendations but travelled by car or motorbike for journeys up to five minutes long.
In order to calculate the annual economic benefits, the 'Health Economic Evaluation Tool (HEAT)' was used. It was designed by the WHO and estimates the benefits of reduced mortality by increasing physical exercise.
For their economic estimations, as set out by HEAT, the researchers took in account certain parameters: 150 minutes walked each week, a relative risk of 0.78 for all deaths linked to walking half an hour a day, a mortality rate in Spain of 21,349 deaths per 100,000 people between the ages of 20 and 49 years and a statistical value of a person's life of 1,300,000 according to the "willingness to pay" methodology.
This study has been published in the European Journal of Public Health and its results reveal that 77.2% of men and 67.7% of women in Catalonia do not reach recommended daily amounts of physical exercise when walking.
"However, 15.6% and 13.9% respectively would reach recommendations if they were to substitute at least one short, 5 minute vehicle journey," as explained to SINC by Marta Olabarria, lead author of the study.
When applied to the population of Catalonia, this would mean that 326,557 men and 252,509 women would meet recommendations. According to the estimations made using HEAT, this new form of physical activity would avoid 108.4 deaths in men and 79.2 in women. In turn, this would bring about savings of 124,216,000 and 84,927,000 respectively.
Walking is a sport
Through the Global Strategy on Diet Physical Activity and Health, the WHO states that it is necessary to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. Walking to get around is considered a moderate physical activity and is perfect to meet exercise recommendations.
More information: Marta Olabarria, Katherine Pérez, Elena Santamariña-Rubio, Ana M Novoa, Francesca Racioppi. "Health impact of motorised trips that could be replaced by walking". European Journal of Public Health, 1-6, junio de 2011.
- Assumptions can steer physical behavior Mar 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Physical exercise helps keeps cancer at bay: WHO Feb 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Early mortality risk reduced up to 40 percent through increased physical activity and sports Oct 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study shows moderate intensity walking means 100 steps per minute Mar 17, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Exercise reduces death rate in prostate cancer patients Dec 08, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 14 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 16 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
17 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
11 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
13 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
14 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
How can healthy people who hear voices help schizophrenics? Finding the answer for this is at the centre of research conducted at the University of Bergen.
16 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 2
(Medical Xpress)—The way Alzheimer's disease is portrayed by advocacy groups and the media is having undue influence on the euthanasia debate, according to a Deakin University nursing ethics professor.
18 hours ago | not rated yet | 2