Want to live longer? Ride a bike

Monday, April 3, 2017

By: Jeff Ash


Every hour you ride a bicycle extends your life expectancy by an hour, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.


“Nowhere in the world do people cycle as much as they do in the Netherlands,” says researcher Elliot Fishman, who is director of the Institute for Sensible Transport in Melbourne, Australia.


The Utrecht University study tracked about 50,000 Dutch bike riders and entered their data into a World Health Organization computational tool to estimate how the nation’s death rate decreased because of cycling.


The average Dutch person rides a bike for about an hour and 15 minutes each week. That means they’ll live about six months longer than people who don’t ride bikes, according to the study.


Cycling prevents 6,500 deaths in the Netherlands every year, according to the study released in 2015.


“An investment in better cycle paths, for example, is easily recovered through the enormous health benefits,” Utrecht researcher Carlijn Kamphuis says. “There are also other benefits from cycling including improved air quality, reduced traffic and as people move more, less burden due to illness.”


Let’s bring that home. If you ride for four hours in the BayCare Clinic Century Bayshore to Lakeshore bike tour on Saturday, June 3, you could extend your lifespan by four hours. Sounds good to us.


The BayCare Clinic Century offers scenic 20-, 60- and 100-mile courses through Brown, Kewaunee and Door counties for riders of all ages and skill levels. Registration is open.


The ride is sponsored by the BayCare Clinic Foundation and is part of the BayCare Clinic Bikes fitness and wellness initiative. BayCare Clinic Bikes promotes bicycling as a healthy, family-friendly activity. Efforts are aimed toward increasing bicycling and advocating for bicycling safety throughout northeastern Wisconsin.


All proceeds from the ride will go to the BayCare Clinic Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which supports causes and organizations that promote improved health and livelihood in northeastern Wisconsin.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.