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Cycling makes you healthier and richer, studies show

Recent studies show how physical activity, such as cycling, and health are strictly related. This leads to economic benefits and higher academic and work performances.

It is commonly known that daily cycling is healthy, but studies and statistics now make it an ever evident fact. In particular, they underline how riding bicycle allows attaining both physical and economic wellbeing.

 

The Netherlands is a practical example of the positive results achieved thanks to mass bicycle mobility, as the study “Dutch Cycling: Quantifying the Health and Related Economic Benefits” reports. Currently, nearly 27% of total travels in the Netherlands are made by using bicycle. The study shows how investments in bicycle-promoting policies are likely to yield a high benefit-cost ratio in the long term. This means economic advantages of over 5% to the Netherlands’ GDP. The Dutch government invests 0.5 billion per year in cycling lanes and bicycle facilities, bringing about economic and health benefits worth 19 billion euros per year.

 

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In other words, cycling and walking make you healthier and richer. It is confirmed by a study carried out in collaboration with the University of California, which shows that they have benefits to property values, work productivity levels, and academic performances. Each euro invested in favouring alternative mobility is worth 13 euros. Benefits to cities include larger market for local shops, reduced traffic congestion, and lower pollution rates.

 

500,000 European citizens die of physical inactivity every year, says a study of the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA). Illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, colorectal and breast cancer could reduce their onset thanks to physical activity, which also helps fighting depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

 

According to ISCA President Mogens Kirkeby, “20 minutes a day of moderate activity would make a massive difference and could be as simple as getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and taking a brisk walk to work; taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even just playing in the park or garden with the kids”. By cutting the current European inactivity level by one fifth, 100,000 lives and 16 billion euros could be saved every year.

 

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