A new study found that people who are habitual of travelling outside their area of residence are healthier than those who stay within their local vicinity. Researchers at UCL lead the study.
The frequency of travelling and the range of places visited are of importance. People who travel 15 miles or more regularly, away from home generally have good health. Moreover, people who travel to a wide array of places and see friends or family more often have a better health.
The results of this research give a strong evidence that better medium or long-distance transportation should be worked on for travel convenience. For example, better roads for commuting via train and buses.
The paper was published in Transport and Health. Ananlysis of travel in North of England was done by the researchers. Residents face the worst health outcomes in the North, in contrast to other parts of England. Furthermore, the rural and suburban areas have a poor quality of accessibility and transport.
The researchers specifically looked at the links between constrains perceived. For example, lack of travelling outside local area because of public transport inconveniences and self-perceived health, trip frequency, number of places visited, travelling distances, mode of transport (car or public transport).
Dr. Paulo Anciaes, lead author of the paper said,
An online survey was also conducted by the researchers, which included 3014 national representative residents of North of England. Moreover, travel constrains contribute to disadvantages in the economy and low sense of well-being among the people of the region. However, no analysis was done on the impact of health.
A research technique called path analysis helped uncover the direct and indirect effects of travel constrains to outside the local area. The study found that there is a strong link between social participation, travel constrains, and health in people above fifty-five years of age. These constrains contribute towards less frequent contact with friends, along with participation in social gatherings. For example, societies and clubs.
Dr Anciaes said,