Want to Be More Active? Start With Your Commute.

Research shows that adding even 10 minutes of extra movement to your daily routine adds up in powerful ways.

oneinchpunch / Shutterstock
oneinchpunch / Shutterstock

Working a little more outside activity into your daily commute could be beneficial in more ways than one. People who regularly biked to work decreased their risk of cancer and heart disease by 45 percent and 46 percent, respectively, according to a 2017 study in the British Medical Journal. Making your commute more active could also help you avoid getting sick. One study found that people who engaged in aerobic exercise at least five days a week were 43 percent less likely to report upper respiratory symptoms than their less-active counterparts. 

If you’re desk-bound by day, even a little movement here and there can help. In one study, swapping as little as two minutes of sitting with gentle walking per hour was found to lower subjects’ risk of premature death by 33%, compared to people who rarely took a break from sitting.

Another reason to make movement part of your day-to-day: It leads to a domino effect of positive outcomes, according to research published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2017. The study authors wrote that “daily exercise predicted increased positive social and achievement events on the same day. Exercise on one day also predicted greater positive social events on the subsequent day.” Now doesn’t that sound like the kind of ripple effect you want to create in your life? Practice your Microstep of getting off public transportation one stop earlier, and in time you’ll turn your daily commute into a meaningful health-booster. 

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