Commuters who travel by car weigh more on average than those who cycle, walk or catch the train or bus to work , a large UK study of 150,000 adults aged forty plus has found.
Cycling came out as the best activity for staying trim, followed by walking, but even public transport users were leaner than car commuters.
The study, published in the journal Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology shows that even a small amount of physical activity is better than nothing at all.
Researchers reached their conclusions by comparing the bodyweights and lifestyles of the 72,999 men and 83,667 women in their study.
Even when they factored in differences such as leisure-time, exercise, diet and occupation, the trend between commute method and bodyweight remained.
And for both cycling and walking, greater travelling distances were associated with greater reductions in percentage body fat.
By their calculations, an “average” height man would weigh around 5kg (11lbs) less if he were to cycle rather than drive to work each day while the average height woman would weigh 4.4kg (9.7lbs) less.