South Jersey Edition

Not-So-Speedy Pedaling Boosts Benefits

Ideal Biking Pace

Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock.com

Researchers from the United Kingdom’s University of Winchester have found that cycling improves brain function. The study tested the cognitive function of 17 physically active men in their 20s before and after two, 30-minute sessions on a stationary bike. The results showed significant cognitive improvements following each session.

Biking to work is also a good way to reduce our carbon footprint, but breathing in exhaust fumes and other pollutants is a concern for street cyclists. Alexander Bigazzi, a transportation expert in the department of civil engineering and school of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia, has studied the relationship between average-speed bicycle travel and inhalation of potentially harmful air.

Using a U.S. Census-based computer model of 10,000 people, Bigazzi found that the ideal bicycling speed to inhale the minimum amount of pollution is between 7.5 to 12.5 miles per hour (mph), placing the lowest risk for women at nearly eight mph and for men at just over eight mph. “The faster you move, the harder you breathe and the more pollution you could potentially inhale, but you are also exposed to traffic for a shorter period of time. This analysis shows where the sweet spot is,” says Bigazzi.


This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

Rutgers Offers Environmental Stewards Program

Tales About the Pine Barrens with Carl Ford

The Horticultural Society of South Jersey Presents Plants for Pollinators

Learn How to Make Your Own Herbal Salve

Add your comment: