• Swedish Health Study Highlights Health Benefits of Commuting by Bike
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  • Bicycle economics,
  • News Comment,
  • 03.11.2011


By Ceri Woolsgrove


Yet another result showing the healthier benefits of cycling over car or public transport use has been released by a Swedish group of researchers. It has often been shown that regular cyclists live longer and have a healthier long range forecast. However this report not only looked at long term mortality levels but also at the health benefits of the ‘here and now’.

The research, looking at 21,000 commuters, drew the following conclusions: “Generally car and public transport users suffered more everyday stress, poorer sleep quality, exhaustion and, on a seven point scale, felt that they struggled with their health compared to the active commuters.”

All pretty straight forward though interestingly one anomaly does stand out “…the car drivers who commuted 30 – 60 minutes experienced worse health than those whose journey lasted more than one hour”. Possible explanations; driving through the beautiful Southern Swedish countryside or the fact that those who live further out tended to be more affluent and live in quiet rural areas.

This clearly shows that the car as a mode of transport has disproportionate health consequences to wealthier segments of the population. However for those who commute and live in the region where they work the great democratic leveller that calls itself ‘bicycle’ could help overcome this undemocratic dance between earnings and ill health once again! Rich and poor, male and female, young and old all have access to a cheap, clean environmentally friendly device that also contributes to a clean bill of health.

The press release and details of the research titled “Detection Relationship between commuting and health outcomes in a cross-sectional population survey in southern Sweden” is available here

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Last Updated November 5, 2011