On this page, you will learn how active transportation benefits
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Of all the transport alternatives, active transport offers the greatest benefits, for you health, your pocketbook and the environment.
In developed countries, 75% of all car trips are less than 10 km (1). If you live within 5 km of your workplace, cycling is the fastest way to get there.
Nearly 80% of Manitobans rely on automobiles to get to work (2). Comparatively fewer people use public transit. Even less cycle or walk to work.
Many Manitobans are not active enough. We have the highest rates of chronic stress in Canada. Over one-third of adults are obese, and are in danger of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and other weight-related health problems. Approximately 850 Manitobans die every year from complications stemming from obesity (3).
Active transport offers an easy way to integrate regular exercise into anyone’s daily schedule. Walking, cycling, running or in-line skating not only reduce GHG emissions, but result in a variety of health benefits.
In the short term, activity helps people feel energized, reduces stress and improves self-image.
Over the longer term, including active transport alternatives in your commuting schedule reduces the risk of developing diseases such as colon cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease. Active Manitobans could expect an improvement in the following health problems (4):
- Back pain
- High blood pressure
- Mild to moderate depression
Health Canada recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Moderate effort activities include brisk walking, biking or in-line skating.
The muscles you develop with moderate exercise hold the enzymes that are your body’s best fat burners (5).
The Green Action Centre, a Winnipeg-based organization that promotes green commuting initiatives, recommends that active commuting be a part of every Manitoban’s lifestyle for many reasons beyond a healthy body.
Community benefits include:
- less noise and safer streets for pedestrians
- active commuters support local businesses like cafes, delis and newstands
- saves tax dollars by reducing the need for roadway construction and repair
Employer Benefits include:
- less need for subsidized parking and fitness programs
- reduced workplace accidents, fewer sick days taken
- enhanced public image
Environmental benefits include:
- reduced toxic and climate-changing air pollution
- reduced ozone layer depletion
- conservation of natural habitat
- conservation of non-renewable fuel resources