Benefits of cycling and walking ‘outweigh air pollution risk’ in cities
Sarah BoseleyHealth editor
Thursday 5 May 2016 00.01 BST
Study finds only 1% of cities in world have such high levels of pollution that the activities could prove detrimental to health
The health benefits of cycling and walking outweigh the harm from inhaling air loaded with traffic fumes in all but the world’s most polluted cities, according to a study.
An international team of researchers who have modelled the effects say only 1% of cities in the world have such high levels of air pollution that cycling or walking could make a person’s health worse.
“The good news is that across the world, in 99% of cities it is safe to cycle up to two hours a day,” said Dr Audrey de Nazelle from the centre for environmental policy at Imperial College London, one of the study’s authors.
“That’s because physical inactivity is such a public health issue – it is not that pollution is not detrimental.”
In respect to air pollution, London is one of the safer cities in the world in which to cycle and walk, with the researchers finding it safe to do so all day.