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Last updated at 13:31 BST, Monday, 15 September 2014

Walk or cycle for 'a happier commute'

Summary

15 September 2014

Walking or cycling to work instead of driving a car can improve people's feelings of health and happiness. That's what a study at the University of East Anglia in the UK suggests.

Reporter:

Adam Brimelow

Cyclists in London

Only 3% of participants said they cycle to work

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Report

For many people commuting is a necessary evil. Most see going by car or van as the 'least worst' option. This study by the researchers at the University of East Anglia challenges that assumption.

It suggests walking, cycling or travelling by public transport can lift the mood. Crucially, it suggests those who switch from the car to an active commute feel better across a range of psychological measures, including concentration, decision making and the ability to face up to problems.

The researchers say policies encouraging people to leave their cars at home could have a dramatic impact on public wellbeing.

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Vocabulary

a necessary evil

something you don't like or enjoy but have to accept

assumption

something considered to be true, though there is no proof

lift the mood

make happier

to face up to

to accept or deal with

dramatic

sudden and easy to notice

wellbeing

the state of feeling healthy, happy and having enough money

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