Here's a hot new fitness tip for 2015: Move away from the highway. A new study out of Sweden suggests that people who live around traffic noise—near busy roads and under flight paths, for instance—are more likely to be obese than their quieter, farm-centered and more suburban cul-de-sacked counterparts.
"Road traffic noise was significantly related to waist circumference," said the study, in one of the best sentences ever written by a Swedish person this year, since Ace of Base is apparently no longer recording.
The theory is that loud noises, such as Beltway traffic, train choo choos and the redeye from San Francisco, trick your stupid caveman monkey brain into thinking there is danger nearby, so you huddle inside your bungalow to store fat and prepare for battle. Being modern humans, of course, we're really only good at the first.
Now, we are not here to question the validity of Swedish waist circumference researchers, and there may be something to this idea that some distant, buried synpases in our brains hear a freight train or a landing Airbus A380 and think "THAT NOISE, GLUNK! IT'S A PTERANODON!" and then start looking for rocks to launch with our slingshots or whatever.
But, if we had to guess, we might say that people don't want to exercise around busy roads and freight trains because they contain distracted drivers and, um, freight trains, and it's generally not fun to run around either. Trains are the No. 1 leading cause of beheadings among people who run around trains. Also, noise is generally unpleasant. There's a guy down the street from me who plays Eric Church while washing his truck in a driveway , and I stay inside the whole time. I'm not going outside for that stuff. I'd rather be killed by a pteranodon.