Cycling to work can halve cancer and heart disease risk

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The news that cycling is good for your health is unlikely to come as a surprise. However, the extent to just how significantly a person’s health could be improved by regular cycling is striking.

The new study by experts at the University of Glasgow, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), studied 264,337 people. They found that commuting to work on a bike is linked to a 45 percent lower risk of developing cancer and a 46 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared to driving to work or taking public transport.

The cyclists put in an average of 30 miles per week, with the further they cycled, the greater the impact on their health.

Overall, cyclists had a 41 percent lower risk of premature death from any cause.

So, for those who want to live longer, Lord Tebbit’s 80’s advice to “get on your bike” could genuinely be a very good start.

Walking to work was also associated with a 27 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 36 percent lower risk of dying from it.

“Walking to work was associated with lower risk of heart disease, but unlike cycling was not associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer or overall death.

“This may be because walkers commuted shorter distances than cyclists, typically six miles per week, compared with 30 miles per week, and walking is generally a lower intensity of exercise than cycling,” Dr. Carlos Celis-Morales, from the University of Glasgow said.

The ringing endorsement of cycling from the Glasgow researchers was met by commentators on social media calling for more investment in cycling infrastructure in the UK.

For those who are still skeptical about whether they have enough motivation to commute on a bike to work regularly, the researchers in Glasgow claim that cycling is an easier habit to take up than maintaining a gym membership.

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