Recently, a study looked at the health benefits of riding a bicycle to do errands, like going to the store. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin analyzed, statistically, what would happen if the 31 million people living in the Upper Midwest did half their short-distance errands (defined as 2.5 miles one way) by bike instead of by car. Their conclusions?
If people ran even half these errands by bike instead of car, 1,100 deaths would be avoided each year. And there would be a $7 billion savings in health-care costs.
Now that’s a good reason to get on a bicycle. Although, really, even without this study, we all know this is a good idea, don’t we?
I have been, embarassingly, without a bicycle for a couple of years now. Okay more than a couple. But my husband just bought me one for my birthday–a totally cute little black number with whitewall tires, an upright city bike with a basket, just like you’d see all over the Left Bank. So I’m pretty excited to cruise around town on it. And, since I’m lucky enough to live in a temperate climate where I can do that pretty much year-round (yay West Coast!), I’ll have lots of opportunity. Plus, I’m going to go ahead and read between the lines in this study–I think they’re actually encouraging us to go shopping on our bicycles.
So…in fact, this is all about me going shopping. Not merely exercising.
Now, speaking of European-style health ideas (my minor obsession)…