Healthy Hearts Cycling Campaign

Health Benefits of Cycling in Wales

Swansea-Bike-Path-2 copySwansea bike path. Credit: Julian Cram/Sustrans

Research has shown that daily and weekly cycling exercise can cut heart disease, help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness.

NHS Guidelines for those of us aged 19-64, state that we should be doing at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 30 minutes per day

What are the benefits of being active daily?

  • Reduces risk of a range of diseases, e.g. coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Helps maintain ability to perform everyday tasks with ease
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety

Being active and meeting the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines helps prevent and manage over 20 long-term conditions. A report into the psychical activities of the home nations’ was published in 2011 by the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) called Start Active, Stay Active, in combination with The Department of Health. The report included guidelines for participation in physical activity across the life course. 

Physical Activities for Adults

The British Heart Foundation National Centre also published their findings into physical activities of people in their Case for Activity publication.

Within the report the BHFNC outline: 

  • 30% reduced risk of Stroke
  • 33% reduced risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  •  150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week decreases the risk of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) by 14%
  •  300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week decreases the risk of CHD by 20%
  • Severely obese individuals who do no leisure time physical activity maylose 7.2 years of life compared to normal weight individuals who meet the physical activity guidelines
  • 13% of type 2 diabetes cases could potentially be prevented

Similarly, mental health benefits can also be seen in the partaking of cycling exercise:

  •  Active adults have a 30% lower chance of feeling distressed or a 30% higher chance of enhanced wellbeing than inactive adults
  • Physically active adults have a 20-30% lower risk of anxiety, depression, distress and dementia
  • Enhance self-esteem 



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