Cycling to the office is gaining more support at least in some developed cities and countries now. Cycling is promoted as a way to lower risks especially against lifestyle diseases. But, it has some negative impacts too.
A study in England recently found that more cyclists who go to office end up in hospitals, compared to others who use other modes of commuting for work. Cycling to work is associated with a higher risk of admission to hospital for an injury than other modes of commuting, it said.
At the same time, the study also pointed out that those who cycled to work had a significantly lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and death compared with commuters who did not cycle.
Researchers tried to find out the association between commuter cycling and risk of injury, compared with other modes of commuting. They analysed data from the UK Biobank study, which included 230,390 daily commuters from 22 sites across the UK, half (52%) of which were women, with an average age of 52.
Out of the 5,704 people who only cycled to work, 7% were injured. Among people who cycled for part of the commute, 6% were injured. In contrast, 4.3% of the commuters who travelled by car or public transport were injured.
Cycling was associated with a higher risk of injury to arms and legs, the torso, the head or neck, and fracture injuries, as well as injury-related hospital stays of 1, 2-6, and 7 or more days, they found out.
The research concluded that commuting by bicycle was associated with a 45% higher risk of hospital admission for a first injury and a 3.4-fold higher risk of a transport related incident, compared with commuting by car or public transport. And those who cycled greater distances had a higher risk of injury.