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What were you trying to find out? Research suggests that walking or cycling improves health. Our study sought to compared the health effects of exclusive car use with a more active pattern of travel that includes some walking or cycling. What did you do? Over 350,000 people from across the UK told us the mode(s) of transport they used to get to work. These were classified as inactive (using the car only) and active (using any other mode or mix of modes). We linked this to information from hospital admission data, cancer registries and death certificates What did you find? More active patterns of travel were associated with a reduced risk of events such as heart attacks and deaths, irrespective of other leisure time physical activity and other factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption. Why does it matter? Replacing exclusive car use with more active patterns of travel, whether for commuting or non-commuting travel, may be beneficial for health and may be more readily achievable. These findings are important for clinicians advising people about how to be physically active and reduce their risk of disease.