Traveling away from home linked to better health

bus travel

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People who travel outside of their local area more often feel that they are healthier than those who are closer to home, according to a new study led by UCL researchers.

How often people travel and the range of places visited are important, with people regularly traveling more than 15 miles away from home more likely to report being generally good. Health.

People who travel to more places are more likely to see friends and family. This increase in social participation is then linked to better health.

The results provide strong evidence of the need to invest in the medium and long-term, the researchers say highly emotional options, such as better service lines and access to trains and buses.

For the article, published in Transportation & HealthThe researchers analyzed travel in the north of England, where people face worse health conditions than the rest of England and many rural and suburban areas are likely to poor transport access.

Specifically, they looked at associations between perceived constraints to going out local areasuch as lack of appropriate public transport and self-assessment health, which considers trip frequency, number of different places visited, distance traveled, car use and transport use public communication.

Lead author Dr Paulo Anciaes (UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources) said: “We expected to see that travel restrictions are due to a lack of public transport. suitable community or private car will be related to people’s perception of their health because of lack of social participation.

“We explored the link between restrictions on traveling more than 15 miles from home, demographics and location, and social involvement in how residents perceive their own health, finding that the key variable is the number of different places people visit outside of their local area. This links to more social participation and better health.”

The researchers conducted a Online survey of 3,014 nationally representative residents in the north of England. Restrictions on travel have been previously identified as contributing to economic disadvantage and reduced well-being in the region, but the impact on health has not been analyzed before. The team used a research technique called “path analysis,” which explores the direct and indirect effects of restrictions on people’s travel outside of their local area.

Research shows a link between travel restrictions, social participation, and better health in people over 55. In this group, restrictions on the number of different places people could go were associated with less contact with friends and fewer clubs. society.

Dr Anciaes explains: “People over 55 are more likely to face other restrictions when traveling, such as limited mobility. They are also more prone to loneliness. In the north of England, rural and suburban areas with limited access options are more likely to experience population loss when youth move to cities in search of work and good travel options. While, old generation left behind in these areas with limited transportation options. The range of places they can go is low, leading to less social participation and lower overall health.

“The results of this study underscore the need for public policies to ease restrictions on travel in the region, by providing better options for private and public transport, enabling more frequent and longer trips.”

More information:
Paulo Anciaes and Paul Metcalfe, Limitations of traveling outside the local area: Impact on social participation and self-assessment health, Transportation & Health (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2022.101535

quote: Traveling away from home linked to better health (2023, 4 Jan) get 4 Jan 2023 from

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