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

Taggart Siegel Seeks to Seed an Agricultural Revolution

His latest documentary film explores the global drive to rescue traditional seed varieties threatened with extinction by agribusiness practices, in order to ensure humanity’s survival.

Mastering Self-Defense

Effective self-defense comes when we move mindfully through environments and know how to safely redirect an opponent’s energy.

When We Set Out

Our soul is like a sail, filled by the wind of Spirit; our job is to harness our will to let Spirit take the rudder.

Natural Motherhood

By making wise choices starting with diet and exercise, a mom-to-be can claim the gentle, joyous birth she wants for her baby.

Decoding Dog Body Talk

When our dogs feel threatened or anxious, their body language tells the story—if we know what to look for.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags