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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lose weight on the London Underground

How commuting can burn off calories

Yesterday's Evening Standard had an interesting feature about how much weight you can lose in your normal commute. Which is quite handy as I still need to lose the pounds I put on over Christmas! It said "For most workers the daily slog to the office means standing or if they are lucky sitting in cattle truck conditions with the sweet smell of eau de armpit wafting under their nose." But research carried out by Costa Coffee (of all people) means we might be burning off more calories than we think.

Burn off calories by commuting - Evening Standard

"A typical London commuter takes 3,400 steps, walks more than two miles and uses up 246 calories each day on the journey to and from work". Over a five day week that's apparently the equivalent of an hour's jogging or burning off two Big Mac meals.

The survey looked at three typical rail commutes but also added short Tube journeys at the end of them. This meant three sets of steps, at least one escalator (did they count walking up the escalator though?) and an eight minute walk from the Underground to work.

They got in a a fitness expert to try to verify their theory, who rather obviously said "Commuters tend to walk at a much faster pace, have stairs and escalators to overcome and often have to run to catch trains so the heart rate increases and calories are burned." Peter Hood continued "Depending on body weight, commuters could be shifting up to half a pound of body fat in oune week on the journey to or from work".

I suppose if you add sweating like a pig in over crowded carriages in the summer time, dealing with the numerous escalator closures so that you have to hike up the stairs and calories lost by the chocolate machines having a melt down, which should be thanking the London Underground for providing such a health conscious service!


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