What are the health benefits of cycling and walking?

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

What we all (should) know

People riding bicycles make no noise, emit no air pollutants or greenhouse gases, ease traffic congestion. Walking and cycling increase fitness. Regular physical exercises provide a sense of wellbeing …Physical activity has many beneficial effects on many aspects of morbidity such as heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, and aspects of mental health (including anxiety and depression) and improving functional health in elderly people.


Studies which found that in any given year, regular cyclists (i.e. cycling 3 hours/week, 36 weeks/year, or 108 hours/year) were on average 28% less likely to die than non-cyclists.

It’s easy to do!

The promotion of active transport (cycling and walking) for everyday physical activity is a win-win approach; it not only promotes health but can also lead to positive environmental effects, especially if cycling and walking replace short car trips. Cycling and walking can also be more readily…

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  1. hurray… keep everyone moving… we are leaving tomorrow for Grandpa’s 101st bday bash.. yup, 101! he walks every day… several times a day… and although he has slowed, he walks without aid… goes to yoga… and just stopped driving…

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