Research Shows Dramatic Health Benefits of Walking & Biking

Research Shows Dramatic Health Benefits of Walking & Biking

From the California Dept. of Public Health – November 2011; Neil Maizlish, PhD, MPH, Epidemiologist

A public health research team recently developed the Integrated Transport and Health Impacts Model (I-THIM) that makes it possible to estimate the health co-benefits and potential harms from active transport and low carbon driving in urban populations. The team applied the model to the Bay Area, and the results are dramatic.  According to the report, “Reducing risks from chronic disease of the magnitude suggested by I-THIM would rank among the most notable public health achievements in the modern era, and reduce the estimated $34 billion annual cost in California from cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions such as obesity.”

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At 15% of all miles traveled by active transport, disease reductions include:

↓ 14% of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

↓ 6-7% of dementia and depression

↓ 5% of breast and colon cancerMajor public health impact

$34 billion annual health costs from cardiovascular disease in California

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