Wednesday, 6 March 2013

How To Live Longer – Ditch the Car, Go By Train

The news that citizens of the UK come 12th on a list of 19 countries for life expectancy at birth means that Brits can expect to have shorter lives than people in many other countries – like Spain, Italy and Australia. A lot of commentary has blamed the NHS, but, as Prof John Newton, chief knowledge officer of Public Health England, which assumes its responsibilities on 1 April said, "I'd be very surprised if it was the healthcare factors that are making the difference….It is more to do with a culture of supportive communities, people's lifestyles and their diets."
Train-Sign com
The Guardian has published a list of ten ways to live longer – and Number 9 is Take The Train. As the Guardian notes, “Road injuries were the 12th highest cause of years of life lost in the UK in 2010, but if you take just adults aged 20 to 54, they were fifth – after heart disease, self-harm, cirrhosis and breast cancer, and just above drug use. According to the independent Oxford healthcare journal Bandolier, which used 2006-7 data from sources including the World Health Organisation and the Department for Transport, the lifetime risk of dying before the age of 75 are one in 976 in a car, one in 54,433 on a plane and one in 131,313 in a train.”
This will not be news to students of behavioural economics, who know that we humans are incredibly bad at risk assessment, particularly when it comes to everyday activities – which, for many people, includes getting in the car. Another great reason not to…

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