Story by By Beverley Hadgraft
First published: March 11th, 2012 at www.bodyandsoul.com.au
From boosting the quality of the environment to fattening your wallet, cycling is a guaranteed life improver.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), transport costs make up 16 per cent of the average family's budget.
If you earn around the Australian average wage (about $60,000 a year), you'll work one day a week to pay for your car.
According to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians buy more bicycles each year than we do cars.
What's more, also according to the ABS more than 1.35 million Australians drive their cars less than five kms to work each day.
Commuting by bike means you not only save money on car costs or public transport, but also on gym fees. In fact, countries such as Denmark and Holland, where cycling is common, have been less impacted by obesity rates.
A Danish study assessed the health status of 30,000 people over a 14-year period to measure the health benefits of cycling and found that all other factors being equal, cycling to work lowered mortality risk by 40 per cent.
According to Victoria's Department of Infrastructure, the value of properties with good cycle access to shops and recreational facilities is higher than in areas where people are car-dependent.
Then there's the green factor. Between September 2008 and 2009, transport was responsible for almost 15 per cent of Australia's carbon emissions. Shifting five per cent of car trips to bicycle could reduce that figure by up to eight per cent.
In addition to being cleaner and greener, cycling can save you time and money. To find out exactly how much, go to cycletoworkcalculator.com.
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