A study published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that the longer people drive to work, the more likely they are to have poor cardiovascular health.
Christine M. Hoehner, a public health professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the study's lead author, said: "This is the first study to show that people who commute long distances to work were less fit, weighed more, were less physically active and had higher blood pressure. All those are strong predictors of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers."
The study monitored the health of 4,297 adults from 12 counties in Texas, near a metropolitan region where 90 percent of people commute to work by car.
The study said that people who commuted by car 10 miles, or more ,each way were more likely to have high blood pressure than people who drove shorter distances.
People who traveled 15, or more, miles each way were more likely to have bigger waistlines and less likely to be physically active, according to Hoehner's study.
Diet, exercise and sleep habits were not looked at in the study, but can also contribute to obesity and high blood pressure.