Bike to work and For Your Health

Regular bike commuters and their doctors already know this, but
for those of you still not sure if bike commuting is worth it, there’s headlines going around the world about a new study of 4,297 commuters that concludes that long commutes may be bad for your health.

From an excerpt:

“This study yields new information about biological outcomes and commuting
distance, an understudied contributor to sedentary behavior that is prevalent
among employed adults,” explains lead investigator Christine M. Hoehner, PhD, MSPH, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. “It provides important evidence about potential mediators in the relationship between time spent driving and cardiovascular mortality.”

Tracking down the source of the study, your editor obtained  permission to post a link to the full paper which will be on the home page of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine “for the next week or so”.

Now I know a 60 mile commute is out of the question for most,
but look at the benefits obtained riding 10 or even 20 miles
round-trip.  Don’t know what those benefits are? Try it for  day or two and ask yourself how you feel. With the new OCTA bikecars in service, your commuting range potential is compounded greatly.  

A body at rest tends to….
Today with all the social media, it shouldn’t be too hard to find
like-minded people to meet-up and form a commuter train on 2 wheels! 

The premise of the study seems to seek an answer to the biological impact of commuting by stating at the outset, “While sedentary behavior is known to have adverse effects on cardiovascular and metabolic health, the impact of long commutes by automobile are less understood.”  Thus at the conclusion of quantifying the commuting behaviors, we arrive at:”A new study has found that greater commuting distances are associated with decreased cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), increased weight, and other indicators of metabolic risk.”

I suppose we could intuitively arrive at the same conclusion, but
these guys are scientists, and they have the data and statistics to show just how scary sitting around can be. Could the pain of long auto commutes be a contributing factor in the reported “Americans consume EIGHTY percent of the world’s pain pills“? Granted it’s from the Daily Mail, however even if we discount the claim by half, it’s still a big number! 

Correlation, Causation?  I’m no scientist – don’t ask me!

Next This week is Bike to Work Week.
If you haven’t already planned a route and engaged your coworkers or other cyclo-commuters working close to you, do so now.  Remember a bike, in the eyes of the law, is a vehicle and you must abide by lawful operation of your vehicle. Despite what you may have heard, you must “go with the flow” of traffic and never ride against it. See and be seen, keep your head on a swivel and wear a reflective vest or bright colored apparel so the auto commuters will spot you and steer clear.