According to the World Health Report 2002:
Bike and HealthPhysical inactivity is estimated to cause, globally, about 10-16% of cases each of breast cancer, colon and rectal cancers and diabetes mellitus, and about 22% of ischaemic heart disease. Overall, 1.9 million deaths are attributable to physical inactivity. Ten years later, in their follow up report in 2012, physical inactivity remains one of the top behavioral risk factors attributed to death. Read more

You can also view a disturbing slide show of obesity trends in the U.S. on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site: trend/maps/index.htm

Now, consider that bicycling at just a moderate rate burns over 500 calories per hour. This could be two half hour commute trips or taking care of the errands for the day by bike. When people have time to add fun to their schedule, one hour of bicycling would fit the bill nicely. Add to that the fact that it is hard to stop bicycling after an hour if you’re out there having fun and you’ve got a winning recipe for solving this health crisis.

This report, Valuing the Health Benefits of Active Transport Modes, actually determines the monetary value of the health benefits of active transport modes in order to include it in cost-benefit analyses for transport and other government sectors.

These two papers demonstrate significant benefits from physical activity and cycling, including extended life - is cycling the fountain of youth?:

So why is it when we search the web for “public health bicycle” most of what comes up on the first several pages are links to bicycle helmet laws and programs? Helmets don’t make people move. In fact, many helmet laws have been shown to actually REDUCE bicycling.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a major disconnect between health professionals and organizations that are working to increase bicycling. We at One Street look forward to bridging this gap as we move forward.