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

The Wise Way to Yoga

The wise way to yoga is the result of practicing yoga with awareness of how we use our body as a whole in every pose.

The Great Neighborhoods Campaign

The Great Neighborhoods campaign has momentum, but time is running out to make sure that the Legislature backs a comprehensive and balanced bill. Governor Baker has proposed a modest zoning bill.

The Evolutionary Mystic

Our soul’s number one priority is to embody infinite stillness, unconditional love, fierce compassion and spontaneous joy.

Presidential Profiles Book Review in Cambridge

Join author Herb Pearce from 7 to 8 p.m., June 25, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, for a review of his new book.

Natural Supplementation for Warm Weather Allergies

As the weather warms up, many New Englanders begin to suffer from warm weather allergies that bring on bouts of sneezing, congestion, itching, stinging and watery eyes.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

The Wise Way to Yoga

An Emerging Movement
The wise way to yoga is the result of practicing yoga with awareness of how we use our body as a whole in every pose.

The Great Neighborhoods Campaign

The Great Neighborhoods campaign has momentum, but time is running out to make sure that the Legislature backs a comprehensive and balanced bill. Governor Baker has proposed a modest zoning bill.

The Evolutionary Mystic

The Conscious Flowering of Humanity
Our soul’s number one priority is to embody infinite stillness, unconditional love, fierce compassion and spontaneous joy.

Presidential Profiles Book Review in Cambridge

Join author Herb Pearce from 7 to 8 p.m., June 25, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, for a review of his new book.

Natural Supplementation for Warm Weather Allergies

As the weather warms up, many New Englanders begin to suffer from warm weather allergies that bring on bouts of sneezing, congestion, itching, stinging and watery eyes.

Natural Solutions for Stress

The effects of worry can be long term, as stress is related to disease, weakening of the immune system, causing high blood pressure or heart disease, and leading to unhealthy actions like overeating, smoking and alcohol overuse.