By Liza Roberts
Updated 2024-04-03 16:45:05 | Published 2020-10-19 14:13:34
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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 every day. We often consider 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, this new study surveyed a group of over 200,000 daily commuters, averaging 53 years of age. The commuters were classified into five main categories: non-active (those who drive or take public transportation), walking only, cycling, mixed walking (those who walk but also sometimes drive or take public transport), and mixed cycling.

After following the subjects of each category for five years and factoring in their health events such as heart disease, strokes, tumors, and death, as well as 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 in the non-active one.

Among the discovered advantages of the cycling group, it was found that cycling offered 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, cyclists were 46% less exposed to developing heart disease and had a 45% lower likelihood 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. Such a trend could greatly reduce healthcare costs for governments – at least those that provide free healthcare – and result in a healthier workforce for private organizations, which is always a good advantage to have.

Liza Roberts is verified user for iMedix