The Health Benefits of Cycling & Walking
Public 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