Dusting off your old bike from the garage could extend your life span, according to new research.
The study, conducted jointly by teams from the University of Otago, Wellington, the University of Melbourne and the University of Auckland, was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this week.
Researchers used data from the New Zealand Census-Mortality Study to do follow-up studies of the population following the 1996, 2001 and 2006 censuses. The studies were conducted between three to five years after each of the consensuses.
It found those who cycled to work had a 13% reduction in mortality during the total 15-year-period period of the study.
Whereas, there was no reduction in mortality for those who took public transport or walked to work.
As the study was based on data from over 3.5 million New Zealanders (80% of the working-age population) it is one of the largest ever cohort studies to examine the link between mode of transport to work and mortality.
For background, in New Zealand, over 80% of the population said they travelled to work by car on census day, whereas only 5% and 3% walked and cycled respectively.
This is comparative to the UK, where some 11% of the population cycle to work at least once a week, according to the latest government statistics based on data from 2017 to 2018.
If you’re not a fan of cycling, taking a walk during your lunch break is another effective means to boost your physical and mental health.