World Bicycle Day: ‘Pedaling Towards Health and Happiness’

World Bicycle Day: ‘Pedaling Towards Health and Happiness’

Adeline Dorcas
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on June 3, 2019 at 10:54 AM
Health Watch
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Highlights:
  • World Bicycle Day is observed on 3rd June every year
  • The main objective of the campaign is to create public awareness on the importance of cycling for health and environment
  • Cycling every day can do more good than harm to our health and environment
  • So, let's start pedaling today for a healthier tomorrow
World Bicycle Day is observed annually on 3rd June by the United Nations (UN). The main aim of the awareness day is to raise awareness on the importance of cycling and promote the use of a bicycle in every corner of the world.

History of World Bicycle Day

The first World Bicycle Day was celebrated by the United Nations (UN) on 3rd June 2018, at the UN General Assembly in New York City. The Assembly welcomed communities around the world to organize bicycle rides and other such events to promote physical and mental health and wellbeing and develop a culture of cycling in society.
World Bicycle Day: ‘Pedaling Towards Health and Happiness’

The World Bicycle Day 2018 was made remarkable by UN officials, diplomats, cyclists, and athletes who expressed their views on the bicycle and its advantages. They acknowledged the role of a bicycle as a tool to promote and achieve Sustainable Development Goals of 2030.

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The day was also enlightened by students who shared their witnesses on how the bicycle is changing lives. They mentioned that most students living in villages have to walk for miles to go to school, but now they can easily reach on time by just pedaling a bicycle. It was surprising that this two-wheeled transport can increase school attendance and improve academic performance by reducing the students' travel time.

In India, the Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu flagged off a mega cycling rally at Connaught Place, Delhi on the occasion of the first World Bicycle Day. Addressing to the crowd gathered there, Mr. Naidu said that the first World Bicycle Day celebrations would be an inspiration to many people in changing their lifestyle and switching to cycling will not only help them stay fit, but also reduce pollution in the city.

Main Objectives of the Campaign

The primary objective of the campaign is
  • To support and promote awareness on the importance and benefits of cycling
  • To motivate people to participate in some regular cycling and develop a culture of cycling in society
  • To encourage the Member States to devote special attention to the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies and to incorporate the bicycle in international, regional, national and subnational development policies and programs
  • To motivate the Member States in implementing strategies to improve road safety, particularly pedestrian safety and cycling mobility to reduce the burden of unnecessary injuries and non-communicable diseases
  • To support stakeholders to highlight the importance and use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, improving physical education for children and young people, promoting health, preventing disease and enhancing mental health and wellbeing

Fascinating Facts Statistics About Bicycles and Cycling

  • More than 100 million bicycles are manufactured each year
  • It is almost 20 times cheaper to maintain a bicycle than a car
  • The first type of bicycle was a 'Draisienne' also known as Dandy Horse
  • One in three Americans ride a bicycle every day
  • In New York City, nearly 1.6 million residents ride a bicycle
  • In the US, men are more likely to ride a cycle at least once a month
  • Nearly 90 percent of all bicycle trips are shorter than 15 kilometers
  • Switching from driving to cycling for short and daily trips could save more than 238 million gallons of gas every year
  • Cycling 10 km each day to work may save almost 1500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year
  • Cyclists tend to gain around 20 years of life from cycling

Why Should We Ride a Bicycle?

Bicycle is a simple, affordable, clean, and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, which of course offers a bunch of health benefits. Here are a few reasons on why cycling is better for health and the environment.

Cycling For Health

  • Cycling to work can help you to stay active throughout the day
  • Cycling is an excellent exercise to build up strength because every single part of the body is involved in cycling
  • Cycling at least 30 minutes a day can help in weight loss and keep you in good shape
  • Having a calm bicycle ride every day can reduce your stress levels
  • Bicycling daily can ultimately cut down the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
  • Riding a bicycle can slow down the aging process and keep your muscles and immune system healthy
  • Cycling also cuts down air pollution risk, thereby protecting the lungs and respiratory system from chronic illnesses and diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and pneumonia
  • Pedaling a cycle can strengthen your muscles and help you stay strong and fit
  • Regular cycling is a safe way to exercise during pregnancy, as it improves cardiovascular fitness, enhances blood circulation, relieves back pain, improves digestion and sleep, boosts mood and energy, promotes muscle tone and helps you stay fit throughout childbirth. However, pregnant women should take up cycling only after consulting a doctor.

Cycling For Environment

  • Cycling is a pollution-free mode of transport
  • Bicycles can be an environmentally sustainable zero-carbon alternative to cars, as they don't run on petrol or diesel
  • Riding a bicycle can prevent air pollution and noise pollution and help you live in cleaner and greener surroundings
  • Bicycles require less space for parking
  • Cost of buying and maintaining a bicycle is very less compared to motor-bikes, cars and other vehicles
  • Cycling can reduce a wide range of road accidents on a daily basis
  • By offering these amazing benefits, the bicycle is a true champion for all, regardless of socioeconomic status or cultural background, as well as gender, age, or physical ability.

Perfect Tips for Better Cycling

Whether you are young or old, athletic or sedentary is not a matter when it comes to bicycling. Here are a few tips that can help you pedal safely.

Wear Helmet: Wearing a helmet while riding a cycle can protect you from serious head injuries

Follow Safety Rules: Make sure to follow road safety rules to prevent unnecessary crashes and accidents

Get Enough Training: If you are a beginner, it's always best to start slowly. Pedal just 30 minutes a day on flat terrain for the first three or four weeks to grasp the skill

Dress for Comfort: Wear comfortable and well-fitted clothes such as a stylish sleek cotton pant when on wheels

Go Bright When in Low Light: Avoid riding at night. If unavoidable, make sure to wear bright neon-colored, reflective clothing, and put reflective tape on your helmet when traveling in low light. Install a strong headlight while traveling in the night

Ride Sensibly: While riding with traffic and crowded paces, give right of way to cars and pedestrians, obey all signs and use hand signals

It's not too late, hurry up, start pedaling today and enjoy the goodness of cycling. So, on this World Bicycle Day, let's go green by riding a bicycle to protect our own lives and also save our Mother Earth and create a better place for the future generation.

References :
  1. World Bicycle Day 3 June  - (https://www.un.org/en/events/bicycleday/)
  2. India Celebrates World Bicycle Day 2018 - (https://wri-india.org/news/india-celebrates-world-bicycle-day-2018)
  3. Cycling - Health Benefits - (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/cycling-health-benefits)
  4. The Top 5 Benefits of Cycling - (https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-top-5-benefits-of-cycling)
  5. Cycling Benefits - (https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Travel-and-transport/Cycling/Benefits.aspx)


Source: Medindia

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