Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences FoundationThunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation

Donate Now Northern Cancer Fund Northern Cardiac Fund Health Sciences Discovery Fund

 

Rethinking Your Commute

july-8-2017-rethinking-commute

Hospital Biking Commuter Champion, Philip Boutotte. Boutotte sold his family’s second vehicle and assembled his own bike to commute to and from work. “I don’t have time to exercise in the evening so incorporating physical activity into my workday by biking to work is the goal,” he said.

By Sara Chow - July 8, 2017

The Commuter Challenge asks Canadians to try getting to work just one time using a transportation method other than driving alone. Try carpooling, walking, city transit, biking, inline skating or any combination of all of these options.

Although the purpose of the Commuter Challenge is to try a more sustainable method of transportation, the real challenge is rethinking the purpose of our commute.

Our commute can be so much more productive than simply just getting us to work. It can be a way to enhance our health and work-life balance, boost the local economy and influence social cohesion. The greatest benefit of actively commuting to work is increasing your physical activity. A recent study in the UK, comparing the health of 260,000 British adults with an average age of 53 years, showed that the people who were cycling commuters cut their risk of cancer by 45 percent and risk of heart disease by 46 percent in comparison to commuters who drove a car or used city transit. Cycling commuters also had greater health benefits than walking commuters. Other studies also show that people who actively commute to work are more alert, happier and productive during their work day.

One of the top reported reasons why people don’t get enough physical activity is because they don’t have enough time. Incorporate your activity into your commute to make greater use of your time. If you live within 5 km of your workplace (the ideal active commute distance), actively commuting to work could take less than an hour a day, but long enough to get your daily bout of exercise in. You don’t have to do it every day, maybe try Fridays to start. Or walk to work and let your partner or teenager pick you up after work.

Actively commuting to work has also been shown to boost local economies and influence social cohesion. When you aren’t driving, you are less likely to travel to shopping locations that are further away (i.e. big box stores), and more likely to stick to local, neighbourhood-friendly shops. This also encourages citizens to get to know their neighbourhoods more, building stronger ties and relationships within their community. Finding other methods, like carpooling, can also help to ease traffic congestion during the busy construction months, and save on parking fees, gas money and regular vehicle maintenance.

Make your commute meaningful. For most people it’s not realistic to completely opt out of driving, but you can challenge yourself to rethink your ride to get your exercise, save money, and have some fun. The Commuter Challenge ran from June 4-10, 2017. For more information, visit www.commuterchallenge.ca.

< back to articles

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation
980 Oliver Road  |  Thunder Bay, ON, Canada P7B 6V4  |  807 345 4673  |  info@healthsciencesfoundation.ca
OUR MISSION: To inspire the people of Northwestern Ontario to give generously to advance our healthcare at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Charitable Registration Number:
888314648RR0001