More than half of all Americans live within five miles of where they work. But, rather than bike, walk, or take public transportation, the overwhelming majority take cars. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 77% drove to work alone in 2010, with another 10% roughly going via some sort of carpool. About 5% took public transit.
Which, of course, isn’t good for health, stress-levels, or the environment–as this helpful infographic from Rollerblade USA (yes, Rollerblade USA) will tell you. A 15-mile round trip by car emits 5,511 pounds of CO2 over the year, for example.
You could of course take a bike, though Rollerblade says this will burn you fewer calories than rolling to work (840 calories for an hour long trip versus 704). And biking is more expensive to boot. The Rollerblade people claim the average new bike costs $385 (which sounds like a lot), while inline skates come in at half that.
An aside about cycling. Yes, there has been an increase in cycle-commuting in the last few years, as many cities get more bike-friendly policies. But research shows (PDF) almost all the increase has been “among men between 25–64 years old.” Cycling among children and older citizens is down, and relatively flat among women (and more women bikers is usually what indicates that biking is doing well in a city).
Is rollerblading the answer for these other groups? If so, you heard it here first. If rollerblading remains goofy, well, take it up with the people at Rollerblade USA. The whole infographic is below: