Cyclists live half a year longer
As a result of their cycling culture, citizens of the Netherlands live, on average, half a year longer than non-cycling citizens elsewhere in the world. And cycling leads to 11,000 fewer deaths per year.
This is the outcome of a study by the Healthy Urban Living research programme of the University of Utrecht, published in the American Journal of Public Health. Researchers combined cycling statistics from the Netherlands with a calculation tool from the World Health Organisation. The tool allowed the Utrecht research team, which included Dr Carlijn Kamphuis, to estimate the impact of bike use on Dutch mortality rates. According to Dr Kamphuis, ‘Using survey data, the Dutch Transport Study collected data on the mobility behaviour of some 50,000 persons in the Netherlands. The data served as input for the WHO tool. We were able to calculate that every hour spent cycling prolongs life by about an hour. In the case of the Netherlands, an average of 75 minutes a week means half a year added to life expectation. On top of that, the intensive use of bikes led to a reduction in the number of premature deaths of about 11,000.”