Ride to work, say Peter Sagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger

C40 group publishes study on long-term health benefits of bike commuting

In case you were still unsure about the benefits of riding to work, a new study put out by C40 Cities highlights a number of reasons to leave the car parked, including reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, cancer and dementia — not to mention improving air quality for everyone.


Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger presented the C40 study on the eve of the One Planet Summit in Paris. Even world champion Peter Sagan chimed in with a message of support, as a C40 ambassador.

C40 is a group of the world’s biggest cities that are committed to addressing climate change through collaboration and sustainable action. The group claims that represents more than 650 million people and one quarter of the global economy.

Peter Sagan’s message

The benefits

C40’s research highlights the potential health benefits of bike commuting. By switching from driving to cycling or walking briskly five days a week for 30 minutes a day, C40 claimed a person can expect a:
  • 23% reduced risk of heart disease
  • 23% reduced risk of stroke
  • 15% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • 14% reduced risk of depression
  • 12% reduced risk of breast cancer
  • 11% reduced risk of dementia
  • 8% reduced risk of colon cancer
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger presented C40’s latest bike commuting research

As for how trading a car for a bike could affect the environment, C40 claimed:

  • Improvements to the air quality in Paris will avoid an estimated 400 air quality related premature deaths per year and add 21 days to life expectancy on average for every resident in the city of Paris.
  • This will prevent an estimated 1,280 respiratory hospital admissions and 6,350 cardiovascular hospital admissions in Paris each year triggered by air pollution.
  • If all C40 cities reduced their annual average PM2.5 levels by 2.5 μg/m³ – by for example meeting the commitments of the Green & Healthy Streets Declaration and encouraging more people out of their cars – it would potentially prevent more than 45,000 premature deaths each year.