What are the risks and benefits of cycling?

Cycling is excellent exercise. It helps people meet recommended physical activity guidelines, and improves their physical and mental health and their wellbeing while reducing the risk of premature death and ill-health.

Cycling fits into daily routines better than many other forms of exercise, because it doubles up as transport to work, school or the shops etc. It’s easier than finding extra time to visit the gym and far less costly.

Cycling to work is linked with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to commuting by car or public transport.

In England, physical inactivity causes around 37,000 preventable premature deaths p.a. amongst people aged 40-79. In 2015, there were 525 thousand admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was recorded as a factor.

Should I be worried about the risks of cycling?
Like anything in life, there are risks to cycling. The question is do the benefits of cycling outweigh the risks?

The health benefits of cycling outweigh the injury risks by between 13:1 and 415:1, according to studies. The figure that is most often quoted is 20:1 (life years gained due to the benefits of cycling v the life-years lost through injuries).

Resource: Cycling UK