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Benefits of Cycling

Page updated: Thursday October 10 2013

Active transportation improves our health and the health of our communities.  It also lowers our healthcare costs.  The more people walk and bike the more we lower those costs as we reduce the levels of obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. 

Cycling and walking also make our roads safer by reducing the number of automobiles on the street.  Did you know that 98.5% of collisions on regional roads are between gas-powered vehicles?  Furthermore, streets where people walk and bike have more people on the street at all times and this has been shown to reduce local crime.

Health benefits

Cycling can better your health and well-being by:

  • Improving your posture/balance
  • Lowering your blood pressure
  • Increasing your energy
  • Increasing your flexibility and muscle strength
  • Lowering your stress levels

Physical activity reduces the risk of:

  • depression
  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • adult-onset diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • high blood pressure

Environmental benefits

Leaving your vehicle at home:

  • Cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change.
  • Reduces air pollutants (walking and biking emit no greenhouse gases).
  • Reduces noise pollution and congestion.
  • Reduces the need for new parking lots and roadways.
  • Saves valuable green space from development.
  • Reduces your ecological footprint.

Economic benefits

You save money — and cause less wear and tear on the road — each time you walk or bike instead of driving.

  • On average it costs $6,000-$8,000 per year to own and operate a motor vehicle, but only $150 per year for a bicycle. And walking is virtually cost-free!
  • On average, driving 1 km in your car costs $13- to $20 dollars. Walking or biking 1 km costs nothing. Plus it provides some — or all — of the daily physical activity you need.
  • Motor vehicles cause a lot more wear and tear on roads compared to walking and cycling.

Social/Safety benefits

Walking and cycling means:

  • Increased contact with your neighbours and community.
  • Calmer and safer roads.
  • More "eyes on the street."
  • “Safety in numbers.”
Let’s stay active and healthy together — make smarter travel choices today!

Source:  Public Health Agency of Canada’s What Is Active Transportation?

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