Potential health impact of switching from car to public transportation when commuting to work

Am J Public Health. 2010 Dec;100(12):2388-91. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.190132. Epub 2010 Oct 21.


We assessed humidity-corrected particulate matter (PM(2.5)) exposure and physical activity (using global positioning system monitors and diaries) among 18 people who commuted by car to Queens College, New York, New York, for 5 days, and then switched to commuting for the next 5 days via public transportation. The PM(2.5) differed little between car and public transportation commutes (1.41 μg/M(3)·min; P = .226). Commuting by public transportation rather than by car increased energy expenditure (+124 kcal/day; P < .001) equivalent to the loss of 1 pound of body fat per 6 weeks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobiles
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • New York City
  • Particulate Matter / analysis*
  • Transportation / methods*
  • Weight Loss
  • Work


  • Particulate Matter