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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-20-17, 07:38 AM   #1
noglider 
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Health benefits of bike commuting

It's not a surprise to me that there are health benefits to bike commuting. The surprise is how big the benefits are.

Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease, says study

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Old 04-20-17, 07:47 AM   #2
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No surprise there, especially in light of recent studies about the hazards of sitting. If sitting is the new smoking, then the antidote is quite simple.
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Old 04-20-17, 09:40 AM   #3
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My employer has an annual checkup program for workers so I've been able to measure the effects cycling has had on me (3 years now!). So far, it has helped me reduce my blood sugar levels (from 84mg/dl to 70mg/dl) and LDL cholesterol (104mg/dl to 74mg/dl).

But I gained 2kgs! I suppose it's muscle mass because I don't feel fatter than a few years ago lol
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Old 04-20-17, 12:16 PM   #4
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it is great for my health, up until that split second it is very, very bad for it...
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Old 04-20-17, 12:48 PM   #5
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it is great for my health, up until that split second it is very, very bad for it...
Heh heh. I was thinking the same thing as I read the article. But you have to get to work somehow. Driving a car is not without its hazards and risks either.
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Old 04-20-17, 01:26 PM   #6
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it is great for my health, up until that split second it is very, very bad for it...
Even when you factor in traffic accident mortality, regular cycling still increases average lifespan by years.
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Old 04-20-17, 01:33 PM   #7
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The cyclecommute reduced both my cholesterol and triglycerides. So another reason to do it...

Edit: This line from the article describes me to a "T":

"Other explanations include cyclists being leaner (even if they are not weighing any less)." Still weigh the same. I guess most of the weight went to my legs. The rest stayed on the handles and small "man belly."

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Old 04-20-17, 02:35 PM   #8
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Even when you factor in traffic accident mortality, regular cycling still increases average lifespan by years.
One study that's never done is what the increased risk of fatality to everyone around him (pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and other motorists) when a person gets behind the wheel and starts to drive.
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Old 04-20-17, 03:21 PM   #9
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Old 04-20-17, 03:24 PM   #10
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Not to be a debbie downer, but I wonder if this study controlled for the fact that people who cycle to work are likely more fit to begin with, and more likely to find some other way to exercise even if they didn't cycle to work. I.e. how is this study saying anything other than 'exercise makes you healthy'? See for instance the end of the article:
Quote:
"Anything that gets you a bit hot and out of breath - whether it's cycling all or part way to work or doing some housework - can help make a difference."
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Old 04-20-17, 03:25 PM   #11
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Edit: This line from the article describes me to a "T":

"Other explanations include cyclists being leaner (even if they are not weighing any less)." Still weigh the same. I guess most of the weight went to my legs. The rest stayed on the handles and small "man belly."
A lot of us had this happen to them.
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Old 04-20-17, 03:46 PM   #12
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Not to be a debbie downer, but I wonder if this study controlled for the fact that people who cycle to work are likely more fit to begin with, and more likely to find some other way to exercise even if they didn't cycle to work. I.e. how is this study saying anything other than 'exercise makes you healthy'? See for instance the end of the article:
The author/study supposes that by committing to a routine of bike commuting it takes the will-power factor out of the equation for physical exercise. That is, if one didn't have to exercise, e.g. go to the gym or go out to run, but that the exercise is built into the day's commute, then it makes it easier to get the physical activity, and thus the benefits. It's much easier to skip the gym than it is to skip work. That much I get.
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Old 04-20-17, 03:48 PM   #13
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Not to be a debbie downer, but I wonder if this study controlled for the fact that people who cycle to work are likely more fit to begin with, and more likely to find some other way to exercise even if they didn't cycle to work. I.e. how is this study saying anything other than 'exercise makes you healthy'? See for instance the end of the article:
Quote:
Originally Posted by From the article
Study design

Between April 2007 and December 2010, UK Biobank recruited 502 549 adults (5.5% response rate) aged 40-69 from the general population.14 Participants attended one of 22 assessment centres across England, Scotland, and Wales.1516 We included the 263 450 (52.4%) participants who were in paid employment or self employed and did not always work at home. The main outcomes were deaths from any cause, CVD, and cancer, and incident fatal or non-fatal CVD and cancer. The exposure variable was the mode of transport used (non-active, cycling, walking, or mixed) to commute to work. Sociodemographic factors (sex, age, deprivation index, and ethnicity) smoking status, body mass index, leisure time, occupational and DIY physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and dietary intake were treated as potential confounders, as were a range of prevalent chronic diseases at baseline, in models that included participants with these conditions.
Looks like they took many "confounding" factors into account and attempted to control for them.
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Old 04-21-17, 09:24 AM   #14
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The author/study supposes that by committing to a routine of bike commuting it takes the will-power factor out of the equation for physical exercise. That is, if one didn't have to exercise, e.g. go to the gym or go out to run, but that the exercise is built into the day's commute, then it makes it easier to get the physical activity, and thus the benefits. It's much easier to skip the gym than it is to skip work. That much I get.
This is the precisely the thing I try to get at when I respond to a newbie who joins BF requesting advice on losing weight.

I always state not to make exercise as the focus of your cycling because it'll turn into a chore and will quickly get discouraged. Instead, make cycling a part of the day by cycling to work, cycle to the gym, cycle to the coffee shop, cycle to visit friends, cycle to buy groceries. etc
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Old 04-21-17, 09:44 AM   #15
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I don't work out at the gym nearly as long per day as I spend cycling. Back on the old shorter commute, it was 90 minutes a day. Now I'm at 180 but fewer days per week. At the gym (which I only use when I'm off cycling for a while) I only go maybe once or twice a week and maybe an hour at a time.
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Old 04-21-17, 10:11 AM   #16
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One study that's never done is what the increased risk of fatality to everyone around him (pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and other motorists) when a person gets behind the wheel and starts to drive.
I just watched a panel discussing how bad people are at estimating risk. One of the examples went like this:

On a flight from NY to Sydney AUS, about 9,000 miles, you'd have about a 1 in 400,000 chance of dying on the plane.

How far would you have to drive your car to have the same risk of dying in an auto accident?

Answer: 200 miles.

They didn't discuss cycling risk.
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Old 04-21-17, 10:35 AM   #17
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One study that's never done is what the increased risk of fatality to everyone around him (pedestrians, cyclists, passengers and other motorists) when a person gets behind the wheel and starts to drive.
Good question. What risk do I create for others when I choose to drive a car 10 miles? I guess it's a 1/x probability of injuring someone, a 1/y chance of killing someone, and some other probability of injuring or killing more than one person. x and y are large numbers, but as the miles add up, those numbers go down to something significant. It supposes, however, that there are alternate, safer ways to travel.
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Old 04-21-17, 12:14 PM   #18
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The author/study supposes that by committing to a routine of bike commuting it takes the will-power factor out of the equation for physical exercise. That is, if one didn't have to exercise, e.g. go to the gym or go out to run, but that the exercise is built into the day's commute, then it makes it easier to get the physical activity, and thus the benefits. It's much easier to skip the gym than it is to skip work. That much I get.
Well, and you can't really skip out of the "second set" and not ride home...
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Old 04-21-17, 02:42 PM   #19
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Well, and you can't really skip out of the "second set" and not ride home...
Many a times I wished I could have, especially on days when that headwind is relentless...like today. But all is forgiven after you arrive home.
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Old 04-21-17, 05:08 PM   #20
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If sitting is the new smoking...
...then I don't want to know what the new vaping is....e-farts?
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Old 04-22-17, 09:48 PM   #21
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Not to be a debbie downer, but I wonder if this study controlled for the fact that people who cycle to work are likely more fit to begin with, and more likely to find some other way to exercise even if they didn't cycle to work. I.e. how is this study saying anything other than 'exercise makes you healthy'? See for instance the end of the article:
Not me, before I started cycling to work last August, I was very sedentary. At start, I would be out of breath in the low 150 bpm and I would feel a burning sensation in my knees. I cycled up until December when the snow stopped me then I started running and cross country skying (did the 15 KM Gatineau Loppet and finished mid rank for my group age, not bad for someone who hadn't cross country skying in over 35 years). Started cycling again last week and even in the high 160 bmp, I'm not out of breath and do not feel that burning sensation in my knees anymore unless I push really hard.

So, I could say that cycling to work did help me getting fitter
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Old 04-23-17, 08:53 AM   #22
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No surprise here that cycling is healthy, it's especially good for your cardiovascular system and it's low impact makes it healthier for the joints than running...However, cycling is not a weight bearing activity and doesn't do anything to increase bone density and doesn't do anything for your upper body strength. Cycling isn't a substitute for weight lifting and gym work.. You should also do some resistance training to strengthen you joints, increase muscle mass and increase bone density to prevent osteoporosis in older age...Also if your diet is poor and you eat like crap then you won't reap any health benefits no matter how much you ride or exercise.
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Old 04-23-17, 09:21 AM   #23
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This kind of article is very important thanks @noglider for posting! I sent the link to my firm's HR director - the non-cyclists in my office tend to exaggerate the risks to the cycle commuters, and don't see the big picture. Go figure ;-)
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Old 04-23-17, 09:24 AM   #24
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Hey, watch it man, I resemble all of these remarks! If it weren't for hockey I would be a stick figure with a big belly and massive thighs.

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No surprise here that cycling is healthy, it's especially good for your cardiovascular system and it's low impact makes it healthier for the joints than running...However, cycling is not a weight bearing activity and doesn't do anything to increase bone density and doesn't do anything for your upper body strength. Cycling isn't a substitute for weight lifting and gym work.. You should also do some resistance training to strengthen you joints, increase muscle mass and increase bone density to prevent osteoporosis in older age...Also if your diet is poor and you eat like crap then you won't reap any health benefits no matter how much you ride or exercise.
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Old 04-23-17, 09:30 AM   #25
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Well, and you can't really skip out of the "second set" and not ride home...
You can if you keep your car at work (which I do most of the time)
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