Given the general perception that cycling is dangerous, we may take comfort in the fact that bike commuting is actually very good for your health.
According to a 1996 study funded by the Australian Department of Transport, regular cycling reduces over four times as many heart attack fatalities as it increases in collision fatalities¹. By choosing not to ride to work, you’re substantially increasing your probability of dying prematurely, even when weighed against the risks associated with cycling in traffic.
A similar 2000 study, funded by the Danish Medical Research Council and the Danish Heart Foundation, found the dangers of cycling are far outweighed by the health benefits derived from the daily, moderate exercise that is typically associated with bike commuting. From the study: “Even after adjustment for other risk factors, including leisure time physical activity, those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality rate than those who did.”
Clearly, even when weighed against the increased risks associated with cycling in traffic, bike commuting is very good for your health and longevity. And when considered along with its other significant benefits such as reduced costs, reduced pollution, and reduced traffic congestion, travelling by bike makes a tremendous amount of sense.