Sitting in your car for the better part of an hour each day commuting is one of the lesser studied sedentary health risks out there.
Certainly compared to the much more touted ones like being a couch potato in front of the television, or having office jobs where you just sit in front of a computer all day.
Yet from 1960 'til 2000, we nearly trebled the number of people commuting by car.
And grew the percentage by nearly 75%, and the time duration of that commute has lengthened nearly 30%.
A Washington University St.
Louis study with the National Institutes of Health did take a look.
Over 4,300 people were surveyed, and the pattern was simple.
More minutes at baseline metabolism and lower cardio fitness.
A higher body mass index, waist size and blood pressure.
More time in your car on your **** means less time doing something above base line metabolism, but even worse it is also stressful time doing too little.
The study also noted that commuting typically correlates with living in the suburbs, a place where almost everything is environmentally engineered for lower exertion and activity.
Unless, of course, you think about going to the gym, which you probably drive to, and then drive to Cinnabon after.
No wonder New York City folks weigh, on average, six or seven pounds less than the rest of us.
Add the fact that there's an entire fast food industry aimed at people in cars, and you can see the correlation, if not causation, with the idea that commuting is not merely health neutral.
So a few tips for the smarter, and ostensibly healthier, driver.
First of all skip the drive through.
Even though it's built for cars.
Second of all try to get some walking in during your commute, even if it's just part of a multi-modal commute and realize that your commute directly subtracts time from activity time.
So count up the minutes that you commit each day and try and find that exact number three times a week to be active.