Infographic: The Many Connections Between Transportation and Health

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched their “New Public Health” website last year with the goal of meeting community members where they are to talk about public health. A lot of those conversations happen online, and they explore the connections between public health and policy decisions related to everything from education to transportation. Last week, they published an interview with U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

They also put out a complete and convincing infographic showing why sustainable transportation modes are a key component of any public health strategy — and any healthy and prosperous community.

It highlights the positive health correlation between transit and health — and suggests that maybe the walk home from the train station is the best part of your commute. Experts say people are willing to walk a quarter mile to a bus stop and a half mile to a rail station. The more bus stops and rail stations there are, the more people get those healthy 19 minutes of walking, too.

Walking and biking as part of your commute can reduce obesity and your risk of a crash. And job sprawl that makes it harder for people to walk or bike to work cost communities money.

But don’t take my word for it — take it from the public health experts. Full infographic after the jump:

4 thoughts on Infographic: The Many Connections Between Transportation and Health

  1. Lifestyle choices built around the need for automobile transportation may be
    the insidious culprit of our nation’s obesity epidemic.  Taking advantage of options that reduce automobile
    use may drive down obesity rates.  The bad news is that the time for these
    changes to take effect may be as long as six years.  The good news is that it can be achieved one
    mile at a time.

    Some references to support the links. 

    Jacobson, S.H., McLay, L.A., 2006, “The Economic Impact of
    Obesity on Automobile Fuel Consumption,” The Engineering Economist,
    51(4), 307-323.

    Jacobson, S.H., King, D.M., 2009, “Measuring the Potential
    for Automobile Fuel Savings in the US: The Impact of Obesity,”
    Transportation Research Part D (Transport and Environment), 14(1), 6-13.

     Jacobson, S.H., King, D.M., 2009, “Fuel Saving and
    Ridesharing in the US: Motivations, Limitations, and Opportunities,”
    Transportation Research Part D (Transport and Environment), 14(1), 14-21.

     Jacobson, S. H., King, D. M., Yuan,
    R., 2011, “A Note on the Relationship Between Obesity and Driving” Transport Policy, 18(6), 772-776.

    Sheldon H. Jacobson
    University of Illinois
    College of Engineering
    Urbana, IL

  2. The chart on miles traveled by cars and trucks indicates a linear growth. That’s simply wrong. Search Sightline Institute’s “Dude, Where’s My Cars?” series to learn more.

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