There are many anecdotes about the joys of trading in a car for a bike, and now researchers in England are backing this idea with data. A study from the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research finds that people who switch from commuting by car to biking or walking improved their overall well-being.
Researchers examined data from 18,000 commuters in Britain, collected by the British Household Panel Survey. They looked at mental health indicators such as feelings of worthlessness, sleepless nights, the ability to face problems and unhappiness. People who walk or cycle to work reported better concentration and lower levels of stress, compared to people who drive a car.
The study controlled for a number of factors that also impact well-being, like income, relationship changes and switching jobs.