Cycling and health: an opportunity for positive change?

Adrian E Bauman and Chris Rissel
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb02443.x
Published online: 6 April 2009

Cycling is an affordable, convenient and achievable form of physical activity for all Australians

Cycling, the fourth most popular physical recreation in Australia, is increasingly being used as a means of transport. As a form of regular physical activity, it confers substantial health benefits that are accessible to people of all ages.1 The epidemiological evidence is growing that cycling has health-enhancing effects, independent of other leisure-time physical activity. In a large Danish cohort followed up for 15 years, a 39% reduction in all-cause mortality was observed in those who cycled to work, and this was independent of participation in sport and other physical activity.2 Other large population studies have shown the effects of commuting by bicycle on reducing mortality and cardiovascular risk among Finnish women,3 and similar risk reductions for Chinese adults in Shanghai.4 Ecological observations have noted lower rates of obesity in regions with high rates of cycling.5

  • School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


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