In a recent study, researchers have found that cycling to work was linked to the most significant health benefits – including a 45 percent lower risk of developing cancer and a 46 percent lower risk of heart disease compared to non-active travellers. Cycling is widely regarded as a very effective and efficient mode of transportation optimal for short to moderate distances. Bicycles provide numerous benefits in comparison with motor vehicles. Cycling also offers a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, and much reduced traffic congestion. These lead to less financial cost to the user as well as to society at large. There is negligible damage to roads and less road area required for cycling. The research suggests that population health may be improved through activities that increase active commuting, particularly cycling.
Pakistan is a country where cycling has been promoted by the Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) since 1947. The Tour de Pakistan International Cycling Race begins from Karachi and ends in Peshawar, with about 150 domestic and international cyclists taking part every year. This race is among the longest in the world, covering a distance of 1,648 km in eleven stages with four days of rest en route. This is healthy sign for improving public health in the country. However, there is a dire need to introduce the mode of travelling to a large number of people. Since it has a great potential to significantly improve public health, cycling can be encouraged among people to reduce rates of chronic disease.
Engr Mansoor Ahmed