A new study has found that if New Zealanders increased their cycling to the modest levels of the 1980s, their health would improve significantly. Commuters need not ride their cycles as in the Hayden Roulston-style medal-winning sprint in lycra, but at just a relaxed pace, to gain full health benefits. Research fellow Dr Graeme Lindsay and colleagues studied the likely effects of shifting 5 per cent of urban light-vehicle trips of 7km or less to cycling and found savings in fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions. They also found that more than five lives would be saved through reduced air pollution from vehicles, and if there were more bikes, the "safety-in-numbers" effect progressively reduced the cycling death rate. But the biggest health effect would be through the reduced rate of conditions like heart attack and cancer among commuter cyclists and the kilos of body fat shed. All that pedalling would burn up the equivalent amount of energy of 40 million cans of Coke, a potential fat loss of 675,000kg, and 116 deaths would be saved by improved health. The calculations come from a paper prepared by Auckland University researchers for the New Zealand Transport Agency. The agency is guided by the New Zealand Transport Strategy, whose aim is that by 2040, 30 per cent of urban trips are made by bike, on foot or other "active modes" of travel. The paper relies on World Health Organisation estimates based on large studies, which indicate mortality from all causes was reduced by 30 per cent among regular adult commuter cyclists. "The studies, from Denmark and China, found consistently fewer deaths than expected from cardiovascular diseases and cancers, and reported this finding could not be explained by recreational activities or other lifestyle factors," the New Zealand Herald quoted the paper as saying. "In New Zealand, bicycles are now seldom used for commuting. Overall, bicycling makes up about 1 per cent of all trips in this country compared to 3.6 per cent in 1989/90. "In contrast, some northern European countries have figures of 20 to 30 per cent," it stated.Source: ANISRM << Sex Workers Launch HIV/AIDS Awareness Centre in Karnataka Rich Baghdad Culture Rises From War Debris >> Recommended Reading The World's Cycling Capital - Copenhagen Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, has announced that it has a vision to become the world's best city for cyclists. READ MORE Walking or Cycling to School can Improve Kids' Health Walking or cycling to school may be an effective and efficient way to integrate physical activity into the daily routine of children, according to researchers at Kansas State University. READ MORE Just 10 Minutes of Cycling or Jogging can Significantly Help People Quit Smoking: Research A new study says that ten minutes of cycling or jogging can significantly help people quit smoking. READ MORE Patna Organises Cycle Rally to Promote Pollution Free Environment Hundreds of enthusiastic residents in Patna participated in a cycle rally on Sunday to promote a healthy lifestyle among the masses and spread awareness about rising pollution levels. READ MORE Exercise and Fitness Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy – that way, you’ll last longer at it and get better results. READ MORE Exercise Bikes or Elliptical Trainers: Which is Better? Cycling on an elliptical machine or exercise bike are excellent home based workouts, providing aerobic exercise and help increase heart rate and burn calories. READ MORE Exercises to Grow Taller An article that highlights on the list of exercises that aids to grow taller. READ MORE Health Benefits of Cycling For Women Cycling is a physical activity that is fun and time-efficient and is one of the best ways to reduce health problems specially in women. Read more to know the major health benefits of cycling on women. READ MORE Health Insurance - India Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance industry with 30% growth in 2010-11 with annual premium collections being over Rs 6,000 crores. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Indian Medical Journals Blood Pressure Calculator Diaphragmatic Hernia More News on: Exercise and FitnessExercises to Grow TallerHealth Benefits of Cycling For WomenHealth Insurance - IndiaExercise bikes or Elliptical trainers: Which is Better?