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Make 'Drive Less' Your New Weight Loss Resolution

By Denise DeWitt HERWriter
driving less could be your new years weight loss resolution Pavel Konovalov/PhotoSpin

If you’re looking for a new twist on your annual resolution to lose weight this year, you might want to change the resolution to “drive less”.

A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois and published in the journal Preventive Medicine concluded that driving less can contribute to maintaining a healthier weight.

The study was led by computer and mathematics professor Sheldon H. Jacobson. The team concluded that the time spent driving each day has a significant impact on body weight, along with calories consumed.

The University of Illinois research study suggested that even a small reduction in either the number of calories consumed or the amount of time spent driving each day could result in a reduction in body mass index (BMI).

Body mass index is calculated using a person’s height and weight. The resulting number is an indicator of overall body fat.

For adults, a BMI of 18.5 is considered to be normal. Below 18.5 is underweight, 25.0 to 29.9 is overweight and 30.0 and above is considered to be obese. While both men and women are rated on the same adult scale, different scales are used for teens and children based on their gender.

BMI is considered to be an important indicator in assessing potential risks for weight related health conditions.

Body weight is controlled by a combination of energy consumed, as calories going into the body, and energy expended, through metabolic functions and activity such as exercise.

Unlike other research teams, Jacobson’s group chose to look at the combination of both energy consumed and expended, rather than focusing on one or the other. They decided to use driving as a proxy for physical activity.

As Jacobson explained, “An easy way to be more physically active is to spend less time in an automobile. Any time a person sits behind the wheel of a car, it's one of the most docile activities they can do in a day.”

The researchers considered publicly available data that included driving habits, average intake of calories, and average BMI. They created a complex model to show how calories consumed and miles driven affect overall body mass index.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a Comment2 Comments

KIm Jolie

Though it's very hard to lose weight that much quicker but Dr. Sheldon H. Jacobson and his team really surprised me with their this new research. I'm personal trainer in Maryland and we spent months and months and do the hard work out then we see a noticeable weight loss in their body. www.pta1.com is the site where I work, to be honest with my client I'll let them know about this research. Thank you

December 25, 2012 - 12:25am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I've never been a huge fan of these "lose weight quickly" type articles. The problem with most of the methods is that, most people end up putting the weight straight back on.

If you want to lose weight permanently, then visit: http://www.healthandfitnessdiets.com. Thanks to the great diet plans and workout routines, I'm currently in the best shape of my life and look great. Furthermore, the weight is staying off!

However, remember there are no shortcuts or magical secrets to a great body - it's simply a result of hard-work and not giving up!

December 19, 2012 - 9:10pm
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