Cycling for a better environment and health

The contribution of transportation to environmental problems in the UK is high due to the excessive amount of vehicles running on fossil fuels. Road transport is responsible for 22% of the UK’s total carbon dioxide emissions, making it a major contributor to global warming. Reducing car use should therefore be a priority in order to reduce pollution and avoid drastic climate change. Besides using public transport or adopting electric cars to get around, you can cycle instead of driving for short urban trips to reduce your impact on the environment, with the additional benefit of improving your health.

Bicycle with wicker basket standing out in color against the black and white backdrop of the River Thames, St Paul's cathedral and the Millennium Footbridge (aka Wobbly Bridge), London, England, UK

A report was published in 2014 laying out numerous benefits of cycling. We will explain some of them below.

1.Bicycles do not pollute

According to the State of Global Air 2017, air pollution contributes to 4.2 million premature deaths a year worldwide from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lung disease and respiratory infections. Bikes do not emit any gas or air pollutants, so clearly more of us turning to cycling for transportation would reduce air pollution and could have some great health outcomes for everyone. Additionally, cycling produces hardly any noise, contributing to quieter cities.

2.Cycling is good for your health

In 2014, the NHS published a report on obesity and physical activity. Only 6% of men and 4% women in the study achieved the recommended level of physical activity. The recommendation is that we do “a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (MPA) per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (VPA) per week, or an equivalent combination of the two.” This means that cycling to work or school for 30 minutes from Monday to Friday would be enough to achieve the recommended level of physical activity and have a healthy body. Substituting your car for a bicycle to go to work has been associated with reduced stress levels and increased concentration and general well-being.

Old woman cycling smiling, healthy and happy in a green park
Cycling is a great physical activity

3.Cycling is inclusive

It is an activity that people of all ages and income levels can do and benefit from. Children and young students can be more independent and reduce their costs on transportation while improving their health. For older age groups, studies have found that physical exercise has a neuroprotective effect, reducing the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. Cycling is a great option of exercise for older people as it keeps them active and independent. For the population with low income that cannot afford a car or regularly pay expensive public transportation, cycling can translate into more mobility to look for jobs or even be a source of income when using it for delivering products and services. It is so inclusive that even if you have physical disabilities there are many adapted cycles you can use.

All these benefits are great, but maybe you are reluctant to become a cyclist because you have no space in your home to store a bicycle. Actually, there are numerous creative solutions in the market for bike storage. You can store your new bike under stairs, on a wall, ceiling or even use it as part of your home decoration. It certainly does not need to take much space or look unpleasant.

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You can look for wall and ceiling mounted racks and hooks if your space is very limited. If you have a little more space and creativity, you can use your bike as part of your home decoration, combining it with your home furniture. There is also some furniture bike storage for sale that looks great and can be used to store and display other objects like plants and books.

Grey student room with bed, desk, bike and copper lamps
You can use it as part of your home decoration

After all the benefits we listed here we hope you will start cycling soon to reduce your impact on the environment and improve your health. Now that you know space should not be a problem, start thinking about a nice and creative way to store your bike and Green It Yourself… Now!

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