Commuting To Work by Bike May Help You Live Longer

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  • The study adds to a growing number of research that links commuting by bike and increased life expectancy
  • Researchers found that cyclists had 13 percent reduced rate of premature death than people who drive to work
  • Unfortunately, many cities still lack networks of dedicated bike lanes for cycles

Do you enjoy biking?

Well, you may want to change the mode of your transportation to work if you want to enjoy more years in your life. Findings of a study conducted by researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand suggest that you may live longer if you commute to work on a bike.

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Using 15 years of worth of data from the New Zealand Census Mortality study, researchers examined the mortality rates of bikers and non-bikers.The data involved 3.5 million people and of these, only 3 percent cycled to work.

The researchers found that cyclists had 13 percent reduced rate of early death compared with people who drive to work. They also found that people who walked or took public transportation had no change in expected lifespan.

“This large cohort study supports an association between cycling to work and reduced ACM, but found no association for walking or public-transport use and imprecise cause-specific mortality patterns,” the researchers wrote in their study.

The findings, which were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, add to a growing number of research that links commuting by bike and increased life expectancy.

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A study conducted in Britain found that cyclists were 15 percent less likely to die from any cause. Another study conducted in Denmark found that people who ride a bike regularly have at least 11 percent lower risk of heart attack.

Unfortunately, many cities still lack networks of dedicated bike lanes for cyclists. Ralph Buehler, from the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs, commented that a large portion of the society is not willing to ride a bike and share the road with vehicles.

Studies that show link between mortality rate and cycling should encourage lawmakers to lobby funds for the development of more bike lanes and cycling-friendly infrastructure.