Headline on the Guardian website

Public health benefits of cycling

Claim made by: Peter Walker
Location: The Guardian
Spotted on: 2014-02-10

If 10% of all journeys were made by bicycle (as opposed to the current 2%), the nation would gain “the combined equivalent of more than 1m years of healthy living over a decade due to lower rates of inactivity-related illnesses.” Furthermore, “if just five minutes of the average 36 minutes a day people spend in cars was used for cycling the NHS would see a 5% fall in inactivity-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes”.

Update 2014-10-27

In order to assess the validity of these claims, I contacted CEDAR (Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research), the department credited for the article’s statistics, and asked them for the evidence behind the various assertions made in the article. The lead author replied very promptly, and I am now working with Sense About Science, who are going to put me in touch with a scientist who can help me to interpret the research.

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