It’s Never Too Late!

Did you ride your bike last week for Bike to Work Week?  Well, if you don’t feel comfortable or ready to ride to work yet, we’ve got a few tips for you AND there’s still time to get on board with the Commuter Challenge!

What I like about the Commuter Challenge is that there’s something for everyone – you can bike, walk, take transit, carpool, rollerblade, skateboard – it all counts when you’re doing something to clean the air.

While biking, walking, blading and skating have obvious physical activity advantages, using other modes of transportation also contributes to our collective health.  Transit riders actually get between 20-30 more minutes of daily physical activity than the average person.  This is because every trip starts and ends with a short walk (or sometimes starts with a short jog!)

Anytime you reduce your car use, you are making a healthy choice as well as an environmentally responsible one because of the way air pollution affects our bodies.

Exposure to air pollution is a recognized risk factor for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer and increases risk for cardiovascular events.i,ii    Some recent studies indicate that air pollution is associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes.iii,iv

This truly is a case of ‘less is more’. Decreases in concentrations of particulate matter have been shown to increase life expectancy even when controlling for socioeconomic and demographic variables.iii

In one study, “reductions in air pollution accounted for as much as 15% of the overall increase in life expectancy.”

If you’ve missed Bike to Work Week and the Commuter Challenge – there’s still the rest of the summer to get biking and when it comes to making healthy and environmentally smart choices – it’s never too late.

Rita Koutsodimos
Manager, Advocacy and Communications

[i] Circulation. 2004; 109: 2655-2671 doi: 10.1161/​01.CIR.0000128587.30041.C8
[ii] Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. March 1, 1995 vol. 151 no. 3 669-674
[iii] Krämer, U. et al. Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: Results from the SALIA Cohort Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 September; 118(9): 1273–1279
[iv] Brook RD, Jerrett M, Brook JR, Bard RL, Finkelstein MM.
[v] Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the United States C. Arden Pope, III, Ph.D., Majid Ezzati, Ph.D., and Douglas W. Dockery, Sc.D. N Engl J Med 2009; 360:376-386 January 22, 2009

Post a comment