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“Commuter cycling at a self-selected intensity meets the recommendations for health improvement and the recommendations for improvement of cardio-respiratory fitness” (Geus 2007) Once people start cycling, they do it all their lives There is strong evidence that once people adapt to using the bike with all its freedom, reliability and quickness for short journeys, people keep cycling throughout their lives.In Netherlands around 25% of all journeys are by cycle for all age groups, including over 75 year olds.Good intentions but short term effort in middle age is not the answer.For a life time of regular moderate activity, it must be incorporated into people’s normal everyday life, must not need a special facility (like a gym) and must be seen as enjoyable and/or must be done as part of normal living.Doing little or no exercise has the same risk of a heart attack as smoking 20 cigarettes a day And it gets worse…Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the single biggest killer in England. Many of these coronary heart disease deaths could be prevented.That is the minimum level of exercise we all need to stay fit and reduce our risk of coronary heart disease.

Remember: A minimum of half an hour a day of moderate activity is essential for health.

It has been calculated that around 37% of all CHD deaths are due to physical inactivity compared to around 19% from smoking.

We don’t do enough exercise Medical advice is that everyone should do a minimum of 30 minutes moderate activity on at least five days of the week.

There is no doubt that cycling is good for you in lots of ways. To get this risk in perspective, let’s compare the risk of not exercising to smoking.

Adults who are physically active are 20–30% less likely to die early (premature death) and have up to half (50%) the risk of developing major chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancers. Physical activity not only contributes to well-being, but is also essential for good health.” (Chief Medical Officer) How big is this risk?

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