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Chapter five - Active transportation, physical activity, and health 
Woodward, A; Wild, K 
Advances in Transportation and Health 
is a chapter of 7473119 Advances in transportation and health: Tools, technologies, policies, and developments
The human body is the most sophisticated transport technology available. What is fundamental to its good use is understanding that the anatomy and physiology of the body are coded for movement. Deprived of the chance to be active, the body deteriorates. For most of our species existence, physical activity was obligatory and food was scarce. The tables have turned—for most people, machines do our work and food is on hand at all times. Active transport offers a rare opportunity to build activity into daily routines. And where there are attractive options for walking and cycling, it is clear that there are benefits for physical and mental health. Those who cycle or walk to work or school are more likely to achieve minimum levels of healthy physical activity than those who commute by other modes. Active transport is associated with improved mood and feelings of well-being, lower body weight, and better heart health. Walking and cycling are linked also with better cognition and mental alertness. Clinical researchers have shown that the combination of arousal, sensory reward, and exercise is a powerful brain tonic and this mix of challenge, sensation, and exertion is familiar to city cyclists and pedestrians. Physical activity has been called the best buy for public health because it is effective, cheap, and by and large is risk-free. If city streets are designed for walking and cycling, and this means more people are more active more often, then this is an opportunity that should not be missed. 
Active transport; walking; cycling; physical activity 
Khreis, Haneen