Cycling and Health: Did You Know...?

  • Cyclists can expect to live for at least two years longer on average than non cyclists. 1
  • Occasional and regular cyclists enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to being between five and ten years younger. 2
  • Cycling as part of normal daily activities can yield much the same improvements in physical performance as specific training programmes.3
  • In 2003 there were around 40,000 deaths per year due to physical inactivity and 113 deaths due to cycling.4
  • Studies between countries show that the higher the rate of cycling the lower cyclists' death and injury rate.5
  • The Health Select Committee said that meeting the Government's cycling target would do more to tackle childhood obesity than any other measure.6
  • ...BUT only one in three Primary Care Trusts have someone with responsibility for cycling.7

A full review of the research on cycling and health

A short summary leaflet on cycling and health

  1. Paffenbarger R et al. Physical activity, all-cause mortality and longevity of college alumni. . New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 314(10) pp 605-613, 1986
  2. Tuxworth W et al. Health, fitness, physical activity and morbidity of middle aged male factory workers. British Journal of Industrial Medicine vol 43. pp 733-753, 1986.
  3. Hendriksen, I. The Effect of Commuter Cycling on Physical Performance and on Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors, 1996, Amsterdam: Free University
  4. Davis A. Cavill N, Cycling and Health: A review for Cycling England. 2006.
  5. Jacobsen PL Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer walking and bicycling.. Injury Prevention, 2003;9:205-209
  6. Parliamentary Health Select Committee report on obesity. The Stationery Office, HC23-1, May 2004. Paragraph 316, page 83.
  7. Cavill N, Rutter H, Hill A. Action on cycling in primary care trusts: results of a survey of directors of public health. Cycling England Board paper.


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