Leave the car at home if you are overweight.
Overweight people who commute to work by car have a 32pc higher risk of pre-mature death from any cause compared to those of normal weight.
Cycling to work can lower the risk of premature death by 50pc.
Research presented to the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, Scotland looked at car commuters, those who mixed walking and cycling and those who only either cycled or walked.
Fatal heart attacks
It found that being obese and using the car for work was associated with a 32pc higher risk for premature death. It was also linked a doubling of the risk of death from heart disease and a 59pc increase in non-fatal heart diseases.
The authors concluded that those with a weight problem could cut the risk of premature death if they engaged in “active commuting”.
They suggested that while gym or exercise classes could be helpful, active commuting could be fitted in with the daily journey to work making it easier to increase physical activity levels and benefit overall health.
The study under Dr Carlos Celis from the British Heart Foundation Glasgow analysed information from over 163,000 people over five years with an age range from 37-73.