The public health benefits of cycling: Cycle to Work Alliance welcomes University of Glasgow research
The Cycle to Work Alliance welcomes new research which has found that cycling to work can cut the risk of developing heart disease or cancer by over 40 per cent. The introduction of new public health policies which increase active commuting methods, particularly cycling, could deliver major opportunities to address growing public health concerns.
The new research, published by the University of Glasgow in the British Medical Journal, has found that cycling to work lowers the risk of developing cancer by 45 per cent and the risk of heart disease by 46 per cent. By analysing data from 264,337 participants who were asked questions about their usual mode of commuting to work, the research has found that cycling to work lowers the risk of developing illnesses when compared to other modes of commuting, such as walking.
According to the research, 90 per cent of cycle commuters achieve current physical activity guidelines. The research speculates that cycling to work results in a lower risk of developing heart disease or cancer because of the greater exercise intensity of cycling, when compared to other modes of commuting.
The Alliance is committed to continuing to work with Government and employers to promote the Cycle to Work scheme as an effective way for encouraging employees to commute to work in a healthy and environmentally sustainable manner.
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Notes for editors:
- The full report is available here: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1456.full.print
- The Cycle to Work Alliance is a group of the leading providers of the cycle to work scheme, including Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords.
- The Cycle to Work Alliance seeks to raise awareness of the role played by the cycle to work scheme in encouraging people to take up cycling, and promote its role in meeting the government’s public health and sustainable transport policy objectives.
- The cycle to work initiative is a tax-efficient employee benefit that provides a way of encouraging more adults to take up cycling. The scheme encourages employers to loan bicycles and cycling safety equipment to employees as a tax-exempt benefit for the purpose of cycling to work. Since its introduction, over 1.1 million individuals have participated in the scheme. The scheme operates nationwide.