One of the greatest benefits of living closer to where you work is that you can either walk or take your bicycle to get there everyday. We also think of these two alternatives as a way to include exercise into our daily routine. Now a new substantial study has just shown that cycling in particular can have even deeper and more impactful health implications on us.
- Conducted in the UK, a new study took to surveying a group of over 200 thousand daily commuters averaging 53 years of age. The commuters were classified into five main categories: Non active, meaning those who drive or take public transportation, walking only, cycling, mixed walking, which counts those who walk but also sometimes drive or take public transport, and mixed cycling.
- After 5 years of following the subjects of each category and factoring in their health events such as heart disease, strokes, tumours and death, and parameters such as their sex, age, diet, ethnicity, habits and body construction, it was found that those who predominantly cycled to work saw a staggering advantage over those of other categories, especially those of the non active one.
- Among the discovered advantages of the cycling group, it was found that cycling proffered a 41% lower risk of death. More specifically, the risk of death was 52% less likely to be heart disease related and 40% less cancer related. In an absolute calculation, cyclers were 46% less exposed to developing heart disease and had a 45 % lower likeliness of developing cancerous tumors. These differences were proportionally more pronounced the longer the commuting distance was.
These results should be the cue for governments as well as private institutions to encourage citizens to rely less on motorized transport and more on physical activity to get to their destinations as such a trend could greatly reduce healthcare costs for governments – at least those that provide free healthcare – and a healthier workforce for private organisations which is always a good advantage to have.