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Tag Archives: Walking

How Your Commute Can Make You Happier

Happy-Commute

Happy-CommuteCommuting to work can be traffic-laden, tedious and dreadful. But it turns out there's a way to lighten the load, and it starts with picking the right transportation mode. According to a paper published last month in the journal Sustainability, the way we commute can affect our sense of happiness and well-being. In particular, sustainable commutes can reduce bad feelings and lead to greater contentment.

Using the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index (WBI) and commute data from 187 U.S. cities for one year, researchers from four universities looked at the relationship between sustainable transportation modes in metropolitan areas and individual well-being. The WBI is based on five elements: physical well-being, community well-being, social well-being, financial well-being and purpose, and associated career well-being.

The general pattern of results indicated that regions that favor sustainable commute modes over driving-alone had higher well-being scores, even when controlling for other important predictors of happiness. Driving alone was associated with lower well-being scores, whereas carpool and non-motorized modes were associated with higher well-being scores.

Automobile use has been found to increase boredom, social isolation and stress, while active transportation users (walkers and cyclists) have significantly higher self-reported happiness levels than those who drive—even when accounting for differences in income, health and attitudes about travel.

Physically active commute modes likewise have been shown to reduce the number of sickness incidences over time. Commuters who bike or walk report better health, lower exhaustion and stress, and fewer missed workdays than their counterpart car commuters.

The study also suggested that providing incentives for commuters to use more sustainable commute options could offer greater opportunity for happiness than those that do not. This summer we launched the new Bruin Commuter Transit Benefit Program, which gives eligible faculty, staff and students the opportunity to try public transit free for one full quarter.

Happiness can be influenced by transportation systems—with sustainable infrastructure and policies potentially enhancing quality of life. Being able to begin and end the workday in a less stressful manner can contribute to physiological and psychological wellness.

These findings demonstrate more sustainable transportation modes are associated with well-being, with the evidence presented supporting the notion that commute mode affect the pursuit of happiness.

Ready for a brighter future by changing your commute habit? See what alternative transportation programs we offer on our website.

 

 

What Do We Do At UCLA Transportation? [VIDEO]

Dickson Plaza 01-00354 copy2 blog

Dickson Plaza 01-00354 copy2 blogPeople often think all we do is provide parking on campus, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, parking is part of it. Most of it, however, is getting you access to campus. That's what we're all about: being green, sustainable and safe.

To highlight some of our goals, accomplishments and best practices, we've made this nifty video. Check it out below and on our YouTube channel.

 

Walkability Of Neighborhoods Are A Health Risk

cobblestone street walk

cobblestone street walk

According to a new study by UCLA public health experts, the physical environment of your neighborhood can affect your health.

"If it's not easy to walk to places, you're surrounded by unhealthy food choices, and you spend hours each day driving to and from your job; that's a powerful determinant of your health." said Dr. Richard Jackson, a pediatrician and professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA's Field School of Public Health.

Poorer communities, in particular, are susceptible to these health risks because they lack infrastructure and access to outdoor amenities. Faculty and students at the Fielding School are working with key stakeholders in Los Angeles to build green spaces to public transit, bike lanes and streetscapes that are geared toward optimizing public health. The focus will be on transportation equity, or aligning a community's infrastructure with the needs of its residents.

One of the most successful outcomes of these efforts is CicLAvia, an open-streets event where hundreds of people walk, bike, or skate to get active and engaged in their communities. CicLAvia events inspire active, green lifestyles in its participants; less than half arrive to these events by car, choosing instead to walk, bike, or take transit. For more information about CicLAvia, including upcoming events, click here. To read more about the new public health study, visit the UCLA Newsroom.

 

Why Walking is Better Than Running

Woman walking down the street.

The I Heart Walking celebration is officially underway! Have you registered to walk with fellow Bruins yet? Along with the many awesome prizes you could win, you'd reap other benefits too. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle but hate running, we have good news.

Running and walking are inevitably two of the most effective and popular aerobic exercises out there. They provide a hefty list of health benefits such as a decrease in the probability of developing diabetes, a decrease in developing cancer and heart diseases, and a large improvement in daily energy levels.

They also increase weight loss, improve your daily mood, and help to maintain a healthy regulation of cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

But which one is better?

Here is a list of things that may help you decide.

1. Running has shown to cause damage your heart.

Troponin, a globular protein that allows for muscle contraction and cardiac muscle movement, is vital in the process of maintaining a strong cardiovascular system.

However, in a study reported by the journal Circulation, researchers have proven that running can actually lead to an unhealthy spike in levels of Troponin, causing possible cardiovascular damage.

As part of the experiment, researchers performed an echocardiographic examination of cardiac function in 60 runners who would be participating in the Boston Marathon. The examination was performed a couple minutes before the race and a couple minutes after the race. Once the results were gathered, it was found that around 60 percent of the selected runners showed elevated markers for cardiac stress.

It was also later discovered that around 40 percent of these runners had also developed signs of myocardial necrosis, a damage made to heart muscle cells that is totally irreversible.

2. Walking reduces your chances of developing a serious disease by a higher margin than running does.

In a long term study conducted by Dr. Paul Williams from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, it was discovered that in comparison to running, walking reduced the risk of first-time hypertension by 7.2% while running only reduced it by 4.2%.

Additionally, walking also reduced the risk of first-time high cholesterol by 7% while running only reduced it by 4.3%.

3. Running can cause long term damage to your muscles.

In the American Journal of Sports Medicine published in 2010, researchers sought out to prove whether long-distance running resulted in irreversible articular cartilage damage. With the help from MRI scanning, researchers concluded that tested individuals showed significant increase in biochemical changes in articular cartilage even after three months of reduced activity.

The medial compartment of the knee and the patellofemoral joint showed noticeable wear and tear, suggesting that long-distance running can increase muscle and joint degeneration.

4. More running = more sickness?

Your muscles and heart are not the only thing that a rigorous activity like running can affect. Endurance training at an accelerated rate can also negatively impact your immune system.

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, found that long intervals of intense activity can increase levels of certain inflammatory proteins that give way for certain viruses to manifest such as the common cold. Therefore, you might get sicker more frequently and more severely than before, if you’re constantly running at a vigorous pase.

 

 

 

 

Top 7 Views in LA Accessible by Foot

PIM2581[1]

PIM2581[1]

Winters in Southern California are usually pretty perfect. The air is crisp and the skies are blue making it the perfect time of year for a nice, relaxing hike. So let your inner explorer run wild, and take some time off your busy winter quarter schedule to enjoy some of the best views Los Angeles has to offer. Here are seven of our favorite spots:

1. Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon Park, Los Angeles, USA

One thing's for sure: The deeper you go into the hills of LA, the better the view. That's why Runyon Canyon is at the top of our list. This landmark of a hiking trail is notorious for leaving all of its guests in complete awe. Runyon Canyon also has an off-leash dog park so you can bring all your furry friends on the journey!

2000 N Fuller Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 | (323) 666-5046 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

2. Yamashiro Restaurant

Another one of our favorites is Yamashiro Restaurant, located in the vibrant community of Hollywood. Besides its breathtaking backdrop, this popular Los Angeles eatery is known for having one of the most stunning environments in the entire city. Equipped with a pagoda, numerous ponds, beautiful gardens, some spectacular dishes, and a marvelous sunset that stretches above the LA metro area to an infinite sky, this spot will soon become the topic of all your conversations. Try your best to get a seat at table 8it’s the best view in the house!

1999 N Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, CA, 90068 | (323) 466-5125 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

3. Griffith Observatory

griffith-observatory[1]

Located in the Hollywood Hills just above the Los Feliz neighborhood, this iconic Los Angeles structure offers you one of the best views in town. The observatory provides you with a perfect Instagram worthy view of the Hollywood sign, Downtown LA and, on a clear day, even the Pacific Ocean! Not only do you get to experience a magnificent view, but you also get a chance to visit one of the best museums Los Angeles has to offer, at no cost! If you're up for a good hike, journey down the trail that starts from the Greek Theatre or Fern Dell toward the Observatory. During the weekends, LADOT offers a DASH Observatory Shuttle at a low cost.

2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (213) 473-0800 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

4. OUE Skyspace LA

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If you’d like a 360 degree view of LA, this is most definitely the place for you. The all-new OUE Skyspace LA, California’s tallest open-air observation deck, is located nearly 1,000 feet above the city in the iconic U.S. Bank Tower. The observation terraces cover a complete 2,800 square feet of outdoor space and feature glass balustrades that showcase its spectacular view as far as possible. For the true and honest dare devils, OUE Skyspace LA is also equipped with a “sky slide,” a 45-foot outdoor slide that wraps around the exterior of the tower! Now that’s a view, am I right?

633 West Fifth Street, Suite 840, Los Angeles, CA 9007 | (213) 894- 9000 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

5. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

This recently restored area offers a magnificent view of the Los Angeles basin, the Pacific Ocean and all of its surrounding mountains. Not only does it offer you an amazing scenic view, but it also offers a state-of-the-art visitor center. Baldwin Hills is a great opportunity to enjoy and connect with nature as it's overflowing with many seasonal native wildflowers. If you are looking for a good, fairly easy hike and a great workout, the park's main attraction is its steps, which will take only 20 minutes to climb to the top.

6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232 | (310) 558-5547 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

6. Mount Hollywood

If you still find yourself wanting more amazing sights after your visit to the Griffith Observatory, then a hike up to Mount Hollywood is a definite must. Just head toward the Charlie Turner trail north of the Observatory parking lot and soon you will find yourself with a 360° spectacular view. You will be dazzled by many sights including the famous Hollywood sign, the Los Angeles basin, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Fernando Valley and the Observatory itself! If you venture up on a clear day you might even be able to catch a sight of Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean. This relatively short and easy hike is definitely a must-do.

2800 E Observatory Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (323) 913-4688 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

7. Barnsdall Art Park

barnsview-thumb-640xauto-645086[1]

Located at the crest of Olive Hill and overlooking the city of Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park offers you a grand and unique view of Hollywood. Just an easy hike up the hill and you will find yourself reveling in a great view of the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory. The park also offers several unique installments to visitors, including the Hollyhock house, the Los Angeles Municipal Art gallery and the Barnsdall Gallery theater. On certain days you can catch an outdoor screening of your favorite movie or participate in the many activities the park hosts, such as summer wine tastings, a farmer's market and several art classes. When you plan your visit, be sure to catch a view of the sunset from the top of the hill.

4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (323) 660-4254 | Directions via transit from UCLA