Cycling keeps health costs down in Australia

June 7th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 7 (IANS) Commuting to the workplace or the marts on bicycles is saving Australia $227.2 million in health costs alone every year, according to an official report. Adrian Bauman and Chris Rissel of Sydney University, along with co-authors from Deakin and Curtin universities and the Cycling Promotion Fund, identified key barriers and benefits to Australians getting on their bikes.

“More than half of all Australians are not meeting public health recommendations for physical activity, and the rise in obesity and diabetes levels is a clear consequence of this inactivity.

“Building cycling into everyday transport is an easy way to be sufficiently physically active without having to re-structure your whole life or find time to exercise,” said co-author Rissel.

The report found a 28 percent increase in cycling between 2001 and 2006 and that around 1.7 million Australian cycled for recreation in 2006.

It says that while many Australian are choosing to cycle, increasingly everyday cycling has the potential to provide sustained and broad benefits across the community.

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