Representational Image
Representational Image

A recent United Kingdom study has associated cycling to work with a higher risk of being admitted to hospital for injury than other modes of commuting.

However, those who cycled to work had a significantly lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and death compared with commuters who did not cycle. Recent evidence shows that active modes of commuting are linked to potential health benefits such as improved fitness and lower body fat, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and death. But the number of people cycling to work in the UK and many other countries is low. Many people are put off by the potential danger linked to cycling in traffic, but there is a lack of individual-level data on cycling and injuries in the UK.

Cycling was associated with a higher risk of injury to arms and legs, the torso, the head or neck, and fracture injuries, as well as injury-related hospital stays of 1, 2-6, and 7 or more days.

Among all commuters using the various modes, those who were injured were slightly older, more likely to be white men and a current smoker, and have a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer or longstanding illness.After taking account other potentially influential factors, such as age, sex, and physical activity levels, commuting by bicycle was associated with a 45 per cent higher risk of hospital admission for a first injury and a 3.4-fold higher risk of a transport-related incident, compared with commuting by car or public transport. And those who cycled greater distances had a higher risk of injury.

But when those who cycled for the whole or part of the journey were compared with all other commuters, the cyclists showed a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lower risk of first cancer diagnosis and lower risk of death

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