It’s often said that Portsmouth is the ideal cycling city being flat, compact and temperate. We spend a lot of time tackling the issues that may stop people from getting their bikes out - mainly the fear of traffic and the fear of bicycle theft. It’s worth remembering that despite all this the benefits of cycling far outweigh the hazards.
The BBC is reporting today that researchers fro the University of East Anglia have found that active commuters, like cyclists, felt better able to concentrate and under less strain than when travelling by car. The study took place over ten years and drew on data from 18,000 commuters.
Those who had an active commute were found to have a higher level of wellbeing than those who went by car or public transport. The physical health benefits of cycling are already well known and this study reinforces the idea that there are positive psychological effects too. When researchers analysed the wellbeing of a small group who swapped the car or bus for a bike or going on foot, they found they became happier after the switch.
In Portsmouth there is a huge and growing public health problem. Obesity rates and consequential diseases are on the rise. Long term health problems from air pollution are growing - and research from King’s College, London shows that pollution levels are highest inside vehicles.
So come on Pompey. It’s time to get on your bikes to beat the bulge and beat the blues. Cycling will make you healthier and happier and the whole city cleaner and and better to live in. What’s to stop you?