Research Alert

Driving has become a way of life for people throughout the world. However, heavy reliance on gas-powered vehicles contributes to three problems (global climate change, air pollution and physical inactivity) that result in millions of deaths per year. As developing nations become more affluent, the number of cars increases. Over one billion passenger cars worldwide are emitting carbon dioxide (CO2), which contributes to a worldwide greenhouse effect and fine particulate matter. Cars, buses and trains also emit fine particulate matter into the air, which can be trapped in the lungs and lead to pulmonary diseases. Driving a two-ton vehicle to move a 150-pound person from place to place does not make much sense. Riding a bike or walking for shorts trips offers a better solution and burns calories in the process, about 80 calories for a one mile walk for a 150-pound person and 30 calories for biking a mile. Populations that rely heavily on active transportation enjoy better health and increased longevity.