Australian Cyclists Save Millions in Health Care

A recent report entitled Cycling: Getting Australia Moving indicates that by improving their health, cyclists saved about $227.2 million Australian per year.

Dr Rob Moodie, Professor of Global Health at the University of Melbourne’s
Nossal Institute and author of the report, said “this report demonstrates the considerable benefit offered to individuals and governments by cycling. Addressing the barriers preventing more Australians from cycling will deliver substantial savings to both government and the community.”

Other economic benefits of cycling include a reduction in congestion which saves about $63.9 million AUD and $9.3 million saved by limiting greenhouse gas production and other “externalities.”

The study also makes recommendations about how to encourage more Australians onto two wheels and looks at some of the barriers. While cycling numbers in Oz are on a sharp incline, particularly in Australian cities, “Approximately half the Australian population is insufficiently active, which significantly increases their risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. A lack of physical activity also increases the risk of breast and bowel cancer, depression and anxiety.”

Cycling is a safe activity relative to other sports. Participants are seven times more likely to be hospitalized playing football than riding a bike. The report also echoes the Safety in Numbers phenomenon we’ve covered here before: the more people that ride, the less likely that each individual will be injured.

Australia is increasingly looking to bikes to improve its citizens health and quality of life. Peter Garrett, Environmental Minister, announced a $45,000 grant to develop a national cycling training scheme, to encourage more people to choose two wheeled transportation over four.”

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