Free bus passes 'help promote physical activity in older people'

21 September 2012

Older people who have access to free bus passes are likely to be more physically active than senior citizens who go without.

This is according to a study by Imperial College London, which involved examining data provided by the National Travel Survey between 2005 and 2008.

In the research, details of which have been published in the American Journal of Public Health, it was found that the percentage of respondents who obtained a free bus pass jumped from 56.8 per cent to 74.7 per cent during the study period.

At the same time, a significant increase was seen in the number of bus pass holders who walk three or more times a week.

Furthermore, these same individuals were more likely to undertake forms of 'active travel', which are deemed as walking, cycling or accessing public transport.

Study leader Sophie Coronini-Cronberg commented: "Although the costs of the scheme are considerable, it may offer value for money as it seems to promote physical activity among older people, thereby helping to reduce inactivity-related mortality and morbidity."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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