Riding bus may improve health
by Nancy DeVille
Bus riders get a boost in physical activity just by walking to and from stops, suggests a new Metro Public Health Department study, whose findings are in line with national research.
Nearly a third of Americans who use public transportation get 30 or more minutes of moderate physical activity — the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — just from walking to and from their transit stops.
That finding prompted the health department to partner with the Metro Transit Authority for a study of EasyRide customers. EasyRide allows workers at participating employers to swipe their ID card in lieu of paying a fare, and MTA then bills the employer. The study’s goal is getting more employers to sign up and take advantage of evidence-based health benefits.
“If we can promote it better, and get 25 to 40 percent of people doing it, then that’s a lot of individuals who are getting more physical activity,” said Jimmy Dills, health impact assessment coordinator for Metro Public Health. “The employer gets the tax benefit, but long term they will get reduced health-care costs along with the benefit of having a healthier and more productive workforce.”
The study also proposes that riding transit can decrease the risk of roadway injuries, improve air quality and reduce stress.
Read the full article in The Tennessean
Read more about HIA activity in Nashville from the NashVitality