Editorials

Cycling and health promotion

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7239.888 (Published 01 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:888

A safer, slower urban road environment is the key

  1. Douglas Carnall, associate editor
  1. BMJ

    The consensus that regular physical exercise is a vital part of maintaining health and wellbeing has existed for at least a decade.1 The human body is made to exercise, yet our increasingly motorised existence means that we now walk an average of eight miles less each day than our forebears 50 years ago.2 Cycling has shown a similar decline: in 1949 34% of miles travelled using a mechanical mode were by bicycle; today only 1-2% are.2

    The car, weighing the best part of a ton and often conveying only one person and a briefcase, is a highly inefficient mode of transport. The fumes cars expel cause appreciable mortality3 and are a major contributor to …

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