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Brussels, Belgium - People who mostly use cars to get around are on average four kilograms heavier than regular cyclists, according to an EU-funded study released on Wednesday.

Researchers for Physical Activity Through Sustainable Transport Approaches (Pasta) questioned 11 000 volunteers in seven European cities, gathering information on their means of transport and how long they travel daily, along with their height and weight.

A Pasta project spokeswoman said the results took into account factors such as age, education level, household income, leisure activities, smoking and alcohol use.

Adrian Davis, an advisory member of Pasta, said: “People who are physically inactive are at higher risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart attacks, as well as becoming overweight.

“Being more active can make you healthier, save you money and improve your life,” he added. “Instead of going to the gym, for example, think about cycling to work.”

Pasta, funded in part by the European Union, seeks to encourage walking and cycling as a means of transport, integrating physical activity into people's daily lives. Its partners include several European research centres and the World Health Organization.

DPA

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