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You are here: Home >>  Taking Action >>  Cycling >>  Cycling and Health

Cycling and Health

Cycling is an easy and low-impact activity which can significantly improve fitness and have a major impact on the health of people in your organisation. Like walking, cycling can help to reduce the risk of a range of health problems, notably heart disease and cancer.

People who cycle to work can experience significantly lower rates of all-cause mortality compared to those who do not – even after adjustment for other risk factors, including leisure time physical activity.

Getting on a bike can yield much the same health benefits as doing a specific training programme. Cycling for an additional 30 minutes on most days of the week, combined with reducing calorie intake, can achieve weight loss comparable to that achieved by doing three aerobic classes a week.
As well as improving physical health, cycling has a positive affect on emotional health – improving levels of well-being, self-confidence and tolerance to stress, whilst reducing tiredness, difficulties with sleep and a range of medical symptoms.
The main barrier to taking up cycling is a perception of the physical danger posed by motor traffic. However, the real risks are minimal and are outweighed by the health benefits by a factor of around twenty to one. It may be more risky to health to be sedentary.



Valuing the Benefits of Cycling

New evidence from Sustrans Scotland shows that health benefits of walking and cycling journeys on the National Cycle Network in 2014 were worth a staggering £321 million to Scottish Economy. Find out more here



The Annual Cycling Monitoring Report - as part of the Scottish Governments CAPS ( Cycling Action Plan for Scotland)  gives a useful breakdown of data against key national indicators and gives a useful picture of cycling participation across Scotland. 



See Department of Transport report on The Value of Cycling - March 2016 .  This is an Independent evidence review of national and international studies showing the economic value of investing in cycling infrastructure.

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