Cycling To Work Cuts Your Risk Of Cancer And Heart Disease By Almost Half

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Cycling To Work Cuts Your Risk Of Cancer And Heart Disease By Almost Half

… But is it worth braving the roads on a bike?

Cycling in London is notoriously dangerous but, it turns out, braving the streets may have surprising health benefits.

We could have guessed getting on a bike, rather than haphazardly applying mascara on a bus or tube, was going to be better for us. But, new research has shown, it could cut the risk of cancer and heart disease by nearly half.

A new study of 264,337 people discovered those who cycled to work are 46% less likely to develop heart disease and have 45% lower risk of developing cancer.

In fact, the University Of Glasgow researchers found that cyclists are 41% less likely to die prematurely of any cause — a comforting stat for those who worry about friends and family members on the road (and consistently kick up a fuss when their partner leaves home without their helmet).

Though walking your commute has it’s benefits, it only reduces cardiovascular disease and by not as considerably as cycling.

‘Walking to work was associated with lower risk of heart disease, but unlike cycling was not associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer or overall death,’ said Dr Carlos Celis-Morale, from the Institute Of Cardiovascular And Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

A potential explanation for this discrepancy could be that walkers commute shorter distances than cyclists — on average six miles a week, rather than the 30 covered on bikes. Also, walking is a lower intensity form of exercise.

Researcher Dr Jason Gill called for the Government to improve the prospect of commuting by bike, by creating 'cycle lanes, city bike hire, subsidised cycle purchase schemes and increasing provision for cycles on public transport', saying it would create 'major opportunities for public health improvement'.

You’ve heard them, Theresa (or, whoever else post-June 8th)! Get the UK cycle lanes sorted…

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