New research conducted by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has revealed the scale of the health benefits cycling instead of driving really can have. To promote the findings and cycling, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger the founder of R20 Regions of Climate Action and world champion Peter Sagan have jointly released statements in support of cycling.
I couldn't be with Governor @Schwarzenegger and Mayor @Anne_Hidalgo today in Paris but I support their efforts to switch people from driving to cycling. It is good for your health, it makes you happier and it is good for the planet!! @c40cities @Regions20 pic.twitter.com/GS1p1C4DfQ
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) December 11, 2017
“Sorry I can’t be there with you in Paris to help spread the word that cycling instead of driving can save thousands of lives every year,” Sagan said in a video posted on his social media channels. “I am passionate about getting more people onto their bikes because I know it’s good for your health, it makes you happier and it’s good for the planet.”
The research concluded that cycling to work on safe and green infrastructure, can reduce the risk of hearth disease by nearly one-quarter, reduce the risk f type 2 diabetes by 15 per cent, and that climate action would lead to an increase in the average life expectancy of citizens of Paris by three weeks.
“I am proud to stand with mayor Hidalgo to bring the life and the spotlight,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. “As we both know, governors and mayors have a duty to protect the health and safety of their citizens, and air pollution is one of the greatest threats to mankind, with over seven million people dying worldwide every year.
“Together, through the R20 and C40, we will inspire sub-national leaders around the globe to focus on the immediate dangers and health impacts of fossil fuels,” Schwarzenegger said.
In Paris alone, the commitments made under the C40 Green and Healthy Streets Declaration could lead to an estimated 400 air quality related premature deaths reduction, adding 21 days on average to the life expectancy of residents of the city. Air pollution triggered respiratory hospital admissions could be reduced by 1,280 and a decline of 6,350 cardiovascular hospital admissions are expected.
The benefits of cycling were proudly listed off in the press release. Cycling 30 minutes a day or walking at a brisk pace 5 days a week leads to a 23 per cent reduced risk of hearth disease and stroke, a 15 per cent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, a 14 per cent reduced risk of depression, a 12 per cent reduced risk of breast cancer, an 11 per cent reduced risk of dementia and an eight per cent reduced risk of colon cancer.
“If the policies are escalated to cities and regions around the world, the health benefits will affect tens of thousands of people. Now we see just how dangerous those forces who want to prevent the shift to clean and healthy streets really are. Nothing will hold us back,” said Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris and C40 chair.