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The health benefits of cycling: the case for public bikes schemes

26 January 2012

A study from CREAL, the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, analyses and demonstrate the health benefits of the Barcelona bike sharing scheme.

The study demonstrates that the modal shift from cars to bikes form the public bike scheme result in great health benefits. It details how the health benefits of the physical activity associated with the use of public bikes largely outweighed any negative elements.

Between the launch of the schme in 2007 and 2009, the study estimates that 36 deaths have been avoided among the population which has shifted from cars to public bikes. This results corroborate many other studies, including the results of the HEAT project which was discussed at the last rountable on transport and health of the Polis conference in 2011. As a result, Polis will son release a position paper on this topic and strengthen its effort for the broader recognition of the health benefits of active travel.

Read the full study here.

Source and reference: The health risks and benefits of cycling in urban environments compared with car use: health impact assessment study.
Rojas-Rueda D, de Nazelle A, Tainio M, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ.
Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, C Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

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