A recent study focused on travel habits and researchers took a look at seven different European cities. The study revealed something that does not surprise us: cycling is the healthiest way of traveling.
People who ride their bikes every day won’t become overweight. This kind of exercise is great for regulating the body mass index. Lead author Dr Evi Dons of Hasselt University added that “cycling prevents overweight people from gaining additional weight and it prevents those who are of normal weight from becoming overweight or obese.”
Cycling is a benefit for health even if it is done only occasionally. The study observed that people who ride their bike in order to run some errands are still able to maintain their BMI. More than 2000 persons were analyzed by researchers and the study revealed that women who switched to bikes for daily travel lost 0.24 kg, while men lost 0.75.
E-bikes don’t offer the same benefits
The study was funded by the European Commission and it was conducted as part of the Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project. While bikes are great for health, it appears that e-bikes don’t have the same effects.
People who ride e-bikes had a higher BMI compared to those riding regular bikes.In fact, motorcyclists, pedestrians and people who use public transport all have a lower BMI than the persons riding e-bikes.
The authors of the study are encouraging governments to promote cycling, pointing out the health benefits. Additionally, bikes help reduce air pollution. “Travel by car contributes to obesity and also air pollution. In contrast, bikes burn fat and don’t release pollution. As well as promoting better health, cities that encourage cycling are giving themselves a better chance of meeting air quality objectives,” explained Dr Audrey de Nazelle from the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London.