by Dr. Seema Alavi on September 2, 2011 at 1:04 PM
A sedentary lifestyle causes
obesity. Regular cycling increases
physical activity and improves overall health. Those who cycle regularly are
seen to be healthier than those who do not do so. Regular cycling is an effective, proven way to maintain
health and increase longevity.
Some of the important benefits of cycling are:
It fortifies the immune
system and protects the body from various infections.
It aids in strengthening
the body muscles and regularly tones them.
Cycling strengthens the
skeletal system and improves mobility.
It improves posture and
prevents spinal diseases and back pain.
The circular movement of
cycling is good for cartilages and tendons; therefore, it improves joint
movement and prevents the likelihood of joint diseases.
Cycling has a calming or
soothing effect. It reduces mental
stress and physical fatigue.
It reduces fat
accumulation in the body and, thus, prevents obesity.
It improves blood
circulation in the body.
Cycling builds stamina.
It reduces tiredness and promotes a feeling of well being.
international organizations have emphasized the importance of physical activity
and reduced dependence on cars. This emphasis is also significant from the
point of view of growing global obesity and climatic challenges.
impact assessment study was conducted to estimate the risks and the benefits of
travelling by bicycle as compared to cars in an urban environment. This study
was conducted among members of Bicing, which is acommunity bicycle sharing
program, in Barcelona, Spain. The total number of participants in the study
overall outcome was quite remarkable. There was increased physical activity,
reduction in air pollution and road accidents. There was also a significant
decrease in the emission of carbon dioxide, which is released by cars and other
estimated annual mortality of the Barcelona bicycle users was significantly
affected. Initially, causalities occurring due to road accidents were 0.03, and
deaths occurring due to air pollution were 0.13. Owing to increased physical
activity by way of cycling, about 12.46 deaths were evaded. The benefit:risk ratio was 77.
also reduced the annual emission rate of carbon dioxide by 9,062,344 kg.
The conclusion drawn from this study was that public
initiatives like Bicing are very effective in promoting the use of cycle and
also in highlighting the benefits associated with cycling. The benefits
outweighed the risks involved. Therefore, such public initiatives are helpful
in promoting the use of cycling to keep fit.
The health risks and benefits of cycling in
urban environments compared with car use: health impact assessment study; David Rojas et al; BMJ