Biking Instead Of Driving For Short Trips Provides Much Needed ExerciseBy Health News Team • Nov 8th, 2011 • Category: General Health, True Health News
Environmentalists may push for more commuters to start using bicycles in order to reduce air pollution. However, one recent study notes that making this change can also have several health benefits.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted an investigation on the positive effects of biking instead of driving for round trips shorter than five miles within 11 major metropolitan areas of the Midwest. With regards to air pollution, the scientists projected that 433 lives could be saved annually because of cleaner air, which supports heart and lung health.
When it came to exercise, the study concluded that making these bike trips during the six months of the year when the weather is accommodating could save the country $3.8 billion in treating conditions associated with poor blood sugar, weight or cardiovascular health.
This study may even underestimate the benefits of increased bike use because it does not take into account people who choose to walk or take mass transit, the researchers said, adding that they hope this research can inform city planning.
"Part of this is a call for making our biking infrastructure safer. If there are so many health benefits out there, we ought to try to redesign our cities to achieve them without putting new riders at risk," said researcher Jonathan Patz.