Cycling to work Cuts Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer by Half, Study Finds

By Rebecca Lewis on April 27, 2017

Glasgow scientists found that only about 7 per cent of British adults regularly cycle to work and just 4 per cent do it every day. But doing so can actually cut the risk of cancer, heart problems or dying early by almost half, their research revealed.

The study, which involved 263,450 adults showed that biking even short distances was far more beneficial than walking or using public transport. Researchers assessed the participants’ health for five years and recorded whether they developed cancer, heart disease or died of any cause.

They found that adults who walked to work – typically six miles a week – were 27 per cent less likely to develop heart disease than those who drove or took public transport. However, walking did not seem to protect them against cancer or other chronic health problems. According to the researchers, it is possibly because they were not exercising for long enough.

Meanwhile, adults who cycled to work for any distance were more than 40 per cent less likely to get cancer, heart disease or die within the next five years.

‘Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with substantially lower risk of adverse health.’ said Dr Jason Gill, from Glasgow University’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences.

‘If these associations are causal, they suggest that policies to make it easier to commute by bike – such as cycle lanes, city bike hire or subsidised cycle purchase schemes – may present major opportunities for public health improvement.’

The study authors propose building of more cycling lanes to encourage people to cycle to work, and prevent long-term illnesses.

The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.

Source of this article:

Cycling to work ’halves the risk of heart disease and cancer’: Study finds that biking just a short distance is far more beneficial than walking

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