Health benefits of Cycling
Cycling has many benefits, not only in helping the environment by reducing emissions and congestion, saving money financially in reducing travel costs but also improving general health and well-being. It is well documented at both government and academic levels that cycling has a very positive impact on both personal and public health
The World Health Organisation highlight that physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of ill health. Research demonstrates how increased physical activity leads to a reduction in the cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, Cancer, and Type II Diabetes. Increased activity also leads to a reduction in anxiety and depression.
The promotion of active travel behaviour such as cycling is a “Win-Win” approach as it not only increases everyday activity of individuals but it also has a positive impact on the environment. Increased activity with cycling outweighs the potential negatives from the increased risk from a traffic accidents and the increased exposure to pollution. Research has found that those who cycle to and from their places of work and education had 40% reduction in their mortality rate
A shift away from cars in favour of walking and cycling would help reduce the harmful aspects of transport, improve the health of individuals in society and would also improve the environment. It was discovered that those that cycled to and from their places of work had one day less of absenteeism than those that did not cycle. It’s believed that this reduction is due mainly to the better health of those that cycle and results in a financial gain for an employer.
Not only can cycling protect and help the world we live in, but also has a huge advantages to our health for us as individuals
• Improved balance and co-ordination
• Strengthening of muscles throughout the whole body
• Low impact, great results: Cycling is great for any age/gender, if running/high impact sports or activities are painful/challenging cycling is a brilliant way to exercise and maintain/improve fitness due to its low impact nature on the joints and body
• Improved cardiovascular fitness and endurance: While cycling you’re constantly pumping blood through the whole body which improves the stamina of your hearts and lungs.
• Increased activity: Cycling reduces your sedentary time unlike driving, commuting, watching TV it gets you active which we know is statistically linked to improved health and well-being
• Reduces stress: Most scientific research has generally supports the idea that exercise helps to ease stress. Bike commuters have reported lower stress levels than their counterparts using cars and mass transit
• Weight Loss: How many calories you use up whilst cycling depends on your weight, height, age and how fast you ride etc. (Very) generally speaking, cycling can burn around five calories a minute.
• Boosts the immune system: Cycling can strengthen your immune system and could protect against certain types of cancer. Researchers found that taking part in exercise can boost the number of immune system cells circulating in the body, and while the effect is only temporary, taking part in exercise regularly means that the body becomes more vigilant of viruses and bacteria that can cause conditions such as the common cold.
• Increases Longevity: Cycling is one of the best way to increase your lifespan. Cycling improves the blood circulation in the body while the heart and lungs gets stronger in the process.
• Easy to fit into your everyday routine (commute to school or work, going to the shops, visiting friends)
Avoid the traffic
• Once you have the bike, its free!
• Enjoyable form of exercise outside of the gym
• Low impact on joints
• Can help reduce the likelihood of some serious health problems stroke, heart attacks, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis
• Reduced sedentary lifestyle
• People who cycle regularly in mid-adulthood typically enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger and their life expectancy is two years above the average