Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine investigated 72,999 men and 83,666 women aged between 40 and 60 and their chosen means of transport and obesity risk.
The study found 64 per cent of men and 61 per cent of women chose to drive or catch public transport, while 23 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women used active modes of transport such as walking and cycling.
As scientists drew information from the UK Biobank study resource, it was discovered that cycling was one of the most effective forms of exercise for keeping fit and losing weight.
Commuters who favoured cycling had the lowest BMIs, while for the average man (age 53 years, height 176.7cm, weight 85.9kg), cycling to work was associated with a weight difference of 5kg less compared with driving or taking public transport.
Body fat measurements were 2.75 per cent lower for male cyclists and 3.26 per cent lower for female cyclists.