April 21, 2017
Just in case you needed another reason to start cycling to work, a study published in the British Medical Journal shows that individuals who regularly bike to work cut their risk of developing heart disease and cancer nearly in half! This study, one of the largest of its kind, considered 250,000 UK commuters over a five-year period of time.
Overall, “active commuters” cut the risk of death from any cause by 41 percent, an occurrence of cancer by 45 percent, and the development of heart disease by 46 percent. The study considered active commuters to be those who regularly bicycle or walk to work. The average cyclist in the study bike for 30 miles a week, and the study further indicates that additional biking reaps additional physical benefits.
It is often difficult to determine direct cause and effect in studies. For example, it could be said that individuals who bike regularly probably eat a healthier diet and choose to avoid behaviors that are detrimental to their health, like smoking. Researchers behind the study indicate that clear benefits from cycling were present even after smoking, diet, and weight were taken into account.
This study represents just the tip of the iceberg in research. In fact, a number of studies are currently being conducted around the world on the benefits of bicycling, especially as it relates to both physical and mental health. As more and more nations face a growing obesity crisis, such studies should be regarded as the impetus for change in our society.
Cycling to work proves to be an excellent exercise as it easily fits into everyday life. After all, we all must commute to work. Why not exercise, lower your risk of cancer and heart disease, and enjoy a wonderful bike ride at the same time?
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