A recent study that looked at 150,000 British adults between the ages of 40 and 69, and compared the health between cyclists with motorists, suggests that swapping your car for a cycle during your daily commute to work can bring considerable health benefits.
Skipping your car journey in favour of your bike can help to extend your life as well as reduce your waistline! Even walking or taking public transport to work can help to improve your health over commuting in the car.
The new research discovered that the average male cyclist weighed in at up to 5kg (11lbs) less than men who drove their car to work. The figures were just as impressive for females too with women who cycled being 4.4kg (9.7lbs) lighter than the average female car driver in the same age range.
One of the main benefits of the cycling group over the car drivers was the lower body fat levels, with male bikers having on average 2.75% less than those who took the car, and women 3.26% less.
The study involving 150,000 adults was conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who also discovered that drivers were more likely to have a higher Body Mass Index than cyclists according to their data. The study has been published in the Lancet.
Dr Ellen Flint, Lead Scientist at the School, commented: “Many people live too far from their workplace for walking or cycling to be feasible, but even the incidental physical activity involved in public transport can have an important effect.”
In the UK, of the 23.7 million people who commute to work, two-thirds will take the car, and in England alone two-thirds of adults do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity for their age.
What was really eye-opening about the study was that only 4% of men and 2% of women cycled during their commute – or combined cycling with walking. That is a small amount of a very large study group!
Dr Flint went on to say: “Encouraging public transport and active commuting, especially for those in mid-life when obesity becomes an increasing problem, could be an important part of the global policy response to population-level obesity prevention.”
The study has certainly hit the headlines since the results were released. All the major news channels picked up the story and reported on it with a range of attention grabbing headlines such as, “Get on your bike to lose weight, commuters told,” (ITV news) and “Skipping Car On Commute Could Extend Your Life,” (Sky TV). Whatever the headline, the message they are getting across is loud and clear: motorists are likely to be driving themselves to an early grave because of their sedentary travel habits.
With improved cycle routes being planned in major towns and cities across the country, and the obvious benefits of ditching the car for commutes, isn’t it time you got on your bike? Check out the range of eBikes that Pro Rider Leisure has to offer.