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Cycling to work 'provides major opportunities for health improvement'
20 April 2017, 01:51 | Melissa Porter
Image The Government is being urged to look at ways to make commuting by bike easier
"Physical activity helps to reduce the risk of cancer and, while the researchers are cautious about concluding too much about their results, this study helps to highlight the potential benefits of building activity into your everyday life", said Clare Hyde, Cancer Research UK's health information officer.
"This study shows that people who cycle to work or walk for two hours a week have a significantly reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and death". Even the tabloids are on the story, with the Mirror saying "Cycling to work can slash your chances of getting cancer of heart disease by 50%" and the Sun and the Mail taking similar lines.
And, although walking to work is good for you, it does not provide the same health benefits as using a bike.
Commuters who swap their vehicle or bus pass for a bike could cut their risk of developing heart disease and cancer by nearly half, new research suggests - but campaigners have warned there is still an "urgent need" to improve road conditions for cyclists.
Titled Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality, the research pins cycling down as the most beneficial form of travel for human health, outlining that the further a person cycles in a week the greater perk to health.
Cycling was considered to be slightly better than walking as a mode of commuter transport since it is usually longer and more intense. You can opt out, but with the instructor shouting at everyone to try and get ahead of the person above you, it sort of defeats the object of the class. "Anything that gets you a bit hot and out of breath - whether it's cycling all or part way to work or doing some housework - can help make a difference", she added.
The study compared those who had an "active" commute to those who stayed stationary on public transport or in a auto.
Cycling to work is linked to a lower risk of developing cancer by 45 per cent and cardiovascular disease by 46 per cent, according to a study of a quarter of a million people.
The people taking part in the research were aged 52 on average at the start of the study and were followed for five years.
Dr Jason Gill, from the institute of cardiovascular and medical sciences at Glasgow University, said the government must do more to make cycling safer and more popular.
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