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Bike Commuting Australians Save Millions in Health Care

by Commute by Bike

Carectomy.com:

A recent report entitled Cycling: Getting Australia Moving indicates that by improving their health, cyclists saved about $227.2 million Australian per year.

Dr Rob Moodie, Professor of Global Health at the University of Melbourne’s
Nossal Institute and author of the report, said “this report demonstrates the considerable benefit offered to individuals and governments by cycling. Addressing the barriers preventing more Australians from cycling will deliver substantial savings to both government and the community.”

Other economic benefits of cycling include a reduction in congestion which saves about $63.9 million AUD and $9.3 million saved by limiting greenhouse gas production and other “externalities.

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7 Responses to “Bike Commuting Australians Save Millions in Health Care”

  1. Jenna says:

    I can attest to the health benefits, but I live in America. I have lost 36lbs since I gave up my car for my bike. My oncologist, just this morning, can’t believe the changes in my blood work, it is completely normal. I had a really high white blood cell count for the last 2 years. Also went from 2 meds to control my diabetes to just 1. Hopefully when I go to Dr next week I will be removed from that drug as well.

  2. matthew booth says:

    Congrats Jenna thats awesome.

    Personally, I don’t care as much about the environment (i know that’s bad, but I’m coming out of a very conservative background so it’s taking sometime to re-wire some of that stuff), but I wanted to start commuting for health reasons.

    I have noticed my sleep patterns regulate themselves better and overall and don’t feel as sick as I used to. However, I dont have health insurance, so every day I’m hoping I dont get hit by a car or hurt myself and end up going bankrupt from hospital bills.

  3. Fritz says:

    A Dutch study published last February showed that the longer life of non-obese individuals actually results in greater health care costs over a lifetime. Obesity related diseases are costly to treat, but the obese individuals don’t live as long. Healthy people live longer, but they still get sick in old age and require even more expensive care for a longer time period.

    The study found that because of differences in life expectancy (life expectancy at age 20 was 5 years less for the obese group, and 8 years less for the smoking group, compared to the healthy-living group), total lifetime health spending was greatest for the healthy-living people, lowest for the smokers, and intermediate for the obese people.

  4. Fritz says:

    Jenna: Does cycling help with your cancer?

  5. matthew booth says:

    @ Fritz’s Dutch Study – I guess whether or not that is a bad thing depends on who is paying for the healthcare – I imagine that in most cases the individual is only paying a small portion…
    Once in a philosophy class we had a discussion about paying the bill for older peoples healthcare (through tax funded government healthcare programs).

    I wouldn’t mind my taxes going towards the healthcare of an elderly individual, especially if their old age was directly correlated to a healthy lifestyle when they were younger.

  6. Jenna says:

    Fritz- I have stage 0 luekemia, something they are keeping an eye on because of the type it is -usually develops in 40′s/50′s. I go for regular check ups every 4 months. I am 36 now & my oncologist says it will be one for the records if I get any worse now. So is it helping, I don’t know for sure, but I feel better & my blood work is cleaner.

  7. @matthew booth: Nothing obligates you to care much about the environment. Sounds to me like the health benefits are motivation enough, so why not take any benefit to the environment (and your bank account) as gravy?

    @ Fritz’s Dutch Study: Okay, but healthy people who live longer are likely to be productive for a longer period and earn more over a lifetime. They therefore end up contributing more to the income side of the equation, or at least avoid becoming a burden to systems not related to healthcare. I didn’t have time to read the entire study, but they point out in discussion item number 4 that they didn’t account for factors besides healthcare costs.

    In a nutshell, I’d rather be an active, healthy, productive person who costs the healthcare system a little more (but contributes more to the common weal) than an inactive, obese smoker that costs the healthcare system a little less.

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