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Walking And Cycling Good Even In Polluted Areas

Walking And Cycling

The benefits of walking and cycling outweigh the negative effects on health of air pollution, even in places with high levels of air pollution, according to a new study.

The new evidence strengthens the case for supporting cycling even in polluted cities, an effort that in turn can help reduce vehicle emissions, researchers said. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and several cancers. One way for people to increase their levels of physical activity is through active travel - for example walking and cycling.

People who walk or cycle in polluted environments will inhale more pollution, which could be detrimental to their health. The study is the first model the risks and benefits of walking and cycling across a range of air pollution concentrations around the world, researchers said. Using this data, they calculated that in practical terms, air pollution risks will not negate the health benefits of active travel in the vast majority of urban areas worldwide. The findings were published in the Journal Preventive Medicine.