Cycling Into Better Health

05 April 2019

On World Health Day, let us reflect on the many health benefits that bike riding offers.

People who commute to work by bike have a 52% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and 40% lower risk of dying from cancer, than people who drive or take public transport.  Considering that only 9% using bike to regularly to commute to work nationally, there are many people across NSW who are missing out on the benefits.

Cycling helps to reduce blood fat levels, strengthen the heart muscles and lowers the rest pulse rate, plus it can be used as a form of transport or a fun way to exercise.

In 2017, the most recent statewide bicycle stats, there were 12.5% of the population who rode a bike once a week in NSW, whether for transport or fun.  With 53.5% of the NSW population being overweight or obese cycling can offer a healthier alternative.  Adults should be burning about 2,000 calories a week from exercise and steady cycling offers 300 calories per hour.  

Furthermore, for those that have joint issues or bone thinning diseases, like osteoporosis, bike riding is also low impact and is a better alternative than running or other high impact activities.

Bike riding also can have a big impact on the mental wellbeing. In Sydney, 65.5% of adults drive to work and another 20.9% catch public transport and they arrive to their workplace in a worse frame of mind than those who rode or walked.

“Bike riding offers people in NSW so many positive benefits. If you are not riding now we would love to see you start hoping on your bike at least once a week, you will soon start to notice the physical and mental benefits of riding,” commented Kim Lavender, Bicycle NSW Communications Manager.

Bicycle NSW encourages businesses to support their employees to travel to work via active transport.  The Get Healthy at Work free resources provided by Government can help your workplace plan for active transport and many Councils provide bike maps or are working on plans and strategies to get more people riding. Why not get in touch with your Council to understand what’s available and ask for what your workplace needs.