A study published by the journal of Preventive Medicine in 2013 quantified the health impacts on obesity by cutting down on traveling by car, using public transport and taking cycling when traveling around in Barcelona. The results showed great health benefits by replacing 40% of long distance movements by car for public transport.
In addition, the reduction of exposure to airborne contamination by microscopic particles resulted in an annual reduction of seven cases of low birth weight, six premature births, one cardiovascular disease and one lower respiratory tract infection.
David Rojas, a researcher at the CREAL (Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology), warned that “the results show that transport policies to reduce car travel can yield significant health benefits in terms of reduced obesity, often times for those who take up active transport”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) specifies the need to practice at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity during the week. Walking as a means of transport is considered a moderate activity, suitable for achieving the recommended levels.