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How cycling keeps the Dutch healthy and saves them billions.

2 min read

Better Society
How cycling keeps the Dutch healthy and saves them billions.
Source: BrightVibes

The health benefits aren’t limited to your body though, biking benefits the environment as well.

Biking for the win

The fact that biking is better than taking the car is obvious, but you may not be aware of all the benefits and ways in which biking is better and awesome in itself.

A healthy way of moving forward

One can imagine that biking is good exercise and keeps you fit. But there are so many ways in which biking benefits your health. 

A study has shown that biking intensively can help you live longer. A study conducted among Tour de France riders from the past, showed that the former pros lived to 81.5 years compared to the general population’s 73.5 years. This is a whopping 17% increase. 

But not just pros benefit. Another study has shown that casual bike commuters who have shifted from car to bike, live 3 to 14 months longer.

Another study spent 5 years looking at the activity of 1,500 subjects. Those who were actively biking on a daily basis, were 31% less likely to develop high blood pressure.

So it helps prevent high blood pressure, but yet another study has found that it even helps prevent cancer, though it should be added that this isn’t specifically due to biking, but due to staying fit in general.

But biking (specifically) makes you smarter! It boosts brainpower and helps stave off Alzheimer’s. It can even help control issue like ADD and it showed that kids are even more positively impacted by time on a bike.

From around 3 years old Dutch children learn to ride their bikes.
All sizes From around 3 years old Dutch children learn to ride their bikes. Source: BrightVibes

More bikes than people

One of the most bicycle-friendly countries is the Netherlands, with almost a quarter of all trips being made by bike and with more bikes than people (22.5 million versus 18 million). 

Cities invest lots of money in biking infrastructure, but it basically pays for itself as biking helps the country save money in many fields among which health and social costs.

The Dutch invest over $600 million in bike infrastructure annually, but the preference for biking could save its economy up to $23 billion each year. 

The increased infrastructure has led to more people using their bikes instead of their cars, which in turn has led to a decrease in road accidents for cars and bikes; over the past 2 decades, there’s been a 21% decrease in deadly accidents.

A study has found that the Dutch biking habits help prevent about 6,500 premature deaths each year.

In the city of Utrecht, with 330,000 residents, the average number of daily bike trips is 125,000. It is estimated that these trips are worth $300 million in socioeconomic benefits including health care savings, reduced air pollution and increased productivity.

Bike away the air pollution

The more people use bikes, theless they use cars and cause air-pollution.

In the coming years we can onlyhope even more and more people will start using their bike as the air qualityin the Netherlands isn’t yet up to par with the demanded European standard.

If we translate this biking habitto the rest of the world, we can make a real difference in air quality.

So hop on a bike and contributeto a greener future. Moreover, let your government know that you’d like them toinvest in a safe biking infrastructure.

The Dutch really love their bikes Source: BrightVibes
Make an Impact

Discover your favorite city by bike

When sightseeing, you don’t necessarily have to hop on a tourbus or other polluting transport to see the sights. Almost all cities offer several possibilities to see the city by bike. Listed here, as an example, is the big apple, but simply google city tours by bike and you’ll see an entire list of cities pop up.