19 February 2009

Walkers and bikers are fitter

A story titled "Leaner nations bike, walk, use mass transit" crossed our desk last month. We looked at the data for Latvia, Sweden and the Netherlands, where at least 50% of commuters walk, bike or take transit to work, and where obesity rates are half of what they are in the U.S., or lower. This got me wondering: how does the nation of HOURCAR compare?

Digging in to our annual survey results from last summer, we seem to do rather well. First of all, HOURCAR members tend to use non-driving (and healthier) transportation options more after they join HOURCAR. According to our survey, after joining HOURCAR:
* 28% of our members bike more,
* 33% walk more, and
* 31% take transit more,
compared with
* 3% biking less,
* 1% walking less and
* 10% taking transit less.

* 66% of HOURCAR members walk daily (5 to 7 days per week), and 20% more walk 2-4 days per week.
* 25% of HOURCAR members bike daily, and another quarter bike at least two days a week, and
* 33% of HOURCAR members use transit every day, while another third take transit twice a week or more.
And, bucking the trend of America's car culture, 60% of HOURCAR members report they never use a personal automobile. In other words, HOURCAR members are on par, as far as using non-automotive transportation goes, with some of the healthiest countries around! So not only is HOURCAR good for the health of the environment, but it's good for the health of its members.

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