The Health Benefits of Cycling & Walking

Public Health EnglandPublic Health England have published a rapid evidence review for health and care system decision-makers regarding the health benefits of cycling and wlaking for both individuals and the population.

This review found that walking and cycling benefit health in a number of ways:

  • People who walk or cycle have improved metabolic health and a reduced risk of premature mortality
  • Walking and cycling reduce the risk factors for a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, some cancers, and Type II diabetes
  • Walking and cycling also have positive effects on mental health and general well-being. The mental health and neurological benefits include reduced risk of dementia, improved sleep quality, and a greater sense of wellbeing
  • In environmental terms, health benefits accrue for the general population from a reduction in pollution due to car use and a decrease in road congestion
  • The evidence is that the health benefits of walking and cycling outweigh any potential health risks and harms – for example from injury or pollution
The weight of evidence suggests that if walking and cycling can be increased, they have potential to lead to important health gains at the population level,and thus benefit the NHS and the wider health and care system.
To read the full report, please click here.

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