Cycling and Walking to Work Improves Your Health
As someone who believes in the importance of physical activity to our health, I am interested in new research on the benefits of exercise and moving. I found a recent article from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, to be particularly interesting. The researchers looked at over 250,000 women across the United Kingdom. They evaluated activity levels/commuting and then followed their history over a median of 5 years.
Their main findings were that cycling and walking commuting lowered CVD incidence and cancer outcomes in a dose dependent manner and independent of a range of confounding factors. In addition, cycling was associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality. The effect was higher in cycling with a 40% lower risk of premature death and was felt to be secondary to the higher cumulative amount of time during the activity with cycling.
This article has important public health and policy implications. Infrastructure and policy changes by government to encourage more active commuting would have significant benefits in the health of the local community.
Let us continue to encourage the development of safe and sufficient areas for walking and biking in our communities. Remember, Exercise is Medicine!
Celis-Morales CA, Lyall DM, et al. Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study. BMJ, 2017.
Recent article in our local paper, the Daily Sentinel HERE