Anyone that makes the long cycle to work regularly are improving their chances at extending their longevity, too.
The University of Glasgow published a new study that suggests biking to work was associated with a significantly reduced chance of succumbing to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other fatal afflictions.
The study also revealed that cycling, or similar activities, was linked to a 45% reduced likelihood of getting cancer, in comparison to those who don’t actively commute (i.e. driving their car, or taking public transit to work). Plus, they had a 46% decreased heart disease risk.
Researchers analyzed data gathered from more than 264,000 people for the U.K. study. They asked participants to note their methods getting to and from work. The options included walking, cycling, or non-active commuting. The researchers followed up, through five years on average, keeping a record of hospital admissions, deaths, etc.
“Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes,” Jason Gill, one of the study authors, said in a statement.
“Those who cycled the full length of their commute had an over 40 percent lower risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality over the 5 years of follow-up.”
Interestingly, cycling seemed to have vastly superior health benefits than simply walking – why?
“This may be because walkers commuted shorter distances than cyclists – typically 6 miles per week, compared with 30 miles per week – and walking is generally a lower intensity of exercise than cycling,” study author Carlos A Celis-Morales said in a statement.
Related: The Positive Side of Commuting
What does this all mean going – er, cycling – forward?
Lars Bo Andersen, a professor at the Western Norwegian University of Applied Sciences, didn’t hold back in an editorial published alongside the study:
“The findings from this study are a clear call for political action on active commuting, which has the potential to improve public health by preventing common (and costly) non-communicable diseases,” Andersen wrote. “A shift from car to more active modes of travel will also decrease traffic in congested city centres and help reduce air pollution, with further benefits for health.”
According to CNBC, citing the World Health Organization (WHO), 30-50% of cancers are preventable through consistent exercise, and maintaining a good body weight.