bike to work

Study: Bike to Work, Reduce Cancer and Heart Disease Risk

A well-run workplace wellness program can help employees integrate healthy behaviors that reduce disease and, as a result, health costs — for themselves and employers.

A new study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that a simple change in how one commutes to work can reduce cancer and heart disease risk. The study is titled “Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study.”

The results were clear: “Commuting by walking was associated with a lower risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease] incidence and mortality. However, commuting by cycling was associated with the lowest risk of these as well as lower risks of all cause mortality and cancer, with dose dependent relations for all outcomes.”

Indeed, BBC News reports: “The biggest study into the issue linked using two wheels with a halving of the risk of cancer and heart disease. The five-year study of 250,000 UK commuters also showed walking had some benefits over sitting on public transport or taking the car.”

Dr Jason Gill, from the University of Glasgow, told the BBC News website: “This is really clear evidence that people who commute in an active way, particularly by cycling, were at lower risk.”

The study’s conclusion was most powerful: “These results are relevant, because active commuting on a daily basis is an important contributor to total physical activity. Encouraging active commuting, particularly by cycling, may be a viable approach to deliver health benefits related to physical activity at the population level.”

Clare Hyde from Cancer Research UK told the BBC: “This study helps to highlight the potential benefits of building activity into your everyday life.”