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It’s no secret that cycling is good for you – in fact, you’ve probably been trying to actively avert your eyes and ears if you’ve not been exposed to some form of campaign encouraging you to get on two wheels in the last 12 months. Governments, employers and medical professionals have all played their part in actively encouraging people to cycle – and rightly so – but have you ever stopped to think about how and why cycling is good for you?

An infographic showing the benefits of cycling

Improve Mental Health

A study of The relationship between bicycle commuting and perceived stress, published in the British Medical Journal, in June 2017, found that people who commute by bicycle have a “significantly lower risk” of experiencing stress, compared to those who commute by other modes of transport.

Burn Calories

The amount of calories an individual burns when engaged in a particular activity is a very specific science, that will be dependent on a number factors unique to them, including their age, sex, weight, height, level of intensity, level of fitness and familiarity with the type of activity. So when talking generically about calories burned, it’s right to talk in broad ranges, and even for those to be consumed with a pinch of salt. That said, according to Calories Burned HQ the average person will burn between 450 and 750 calories per hour whilst cycling!

Lower the Risk of  Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer and All Cause Mortality

A study of the Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality published in the British Medical Journal in April 2017 found that commuting by bike was associated with a lower risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), cancer and all cause mortality.

Impact on Joints

Although cycling isn’t totally risk-free when it comes to sports related injuries (aside from the obvious accidents that can occur, the most common none-accident related injuries are thought to come from overuse – which is hardly surprising when you consider that a cyclist pedalling at a moderate cadence would rack up somewhere in the region of 5000 revolutions per hour!) But one thing it can boast is less impact, in comparison with a number of other sports/activities, making it a great option for people with a range of injuries and/or conditions, affecting the joints in their lower body.

Lower Carbon Footprint

The European Cycling Federation have calculated that cycling produces 21g of CO2 per kilometre – to give some perspective, that’s ten times less than using a car!

 

Maybe it’s this wide variety of ways in which cycling is good for you that explains why it’s so popular and continues to be endorsed as a means of tackling many of the challenges that the human race faces in the 21st century: from an individual level, right up to environmental issues which affect us all.

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Robyn Hawxby is a Partner at Pryers Solicitors. She is adept in advising claimants in complex injury claims, as acknowledged in this year's addition of @ChambersGuides.

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