Friday, November 10, 2006

Benefits of increased Cycling

More from my friends in Odense, Denmark with evidence of the health and subsequent economic benefits of increased participation in cycling in the workforce. The economic argument is having more bite with the treasury and rationalist planners of most western cities including in Australia.

Unfortunately the NSW State government is lagging behind Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane in seeing the economic benefits of increased cycling in the workforce. Troels Andersen who is in charge of the cycling programs in Odense travels the world talking about the success and benefits of increased cycling has bought to the Danish city. eCouncillor met Troels at the Bicycle Federation of Australia conference held in Brisbane last year where he presented on the Odense experience. Good links above that can keep cycling advocates surfing all weekend! Bt the weather looks too good so might go for a ride.

3 November 2006
Biking helps cut down on sick days

Efforts to make the city of Odense more bike-friendly are showing results - fewer people are calling in sick
Odense Cycle City, an ongoing, multi-million kroner effort to improve conditions for bicycle commuters, is proving to be a good investment.
Begun in 1999, project initiatives include improved bike paths, free air pumps set up around the city, and a website where commuters can do everything from finding a new bike to warning each other about potholes.
The programme cost the city DKK 20 million (EUR 2.68 million) and has transformed Odense into one of Denmark's most bike friendly cities, increasing the number of two-wheeled commuters in the city of 186,000 by an estimated 25,000 per day.
Additional statistics showing that car ownership has increased at a slower pace in Odense than in the rest of Denmark may have city fathers seeing green, but their efforts also have a financial benefit - active citizens are low-cost citizens.
Odense estimates that over the past four years, a decrease in the number of sick days has saved DKK 33 million (EUR 4.4 million) in health service costs and unemployment benefits.
Thanks to biking, say project leaders, Odense residents have fewer broken bones and fewer tumours than average.
'We have a lower death rate in Odense. People are living longer and we know that illnesses related to physical inactivity have fallen,' said Troels Andersen, the head of the Odense Cycle City programme.
The Copenhagen Post

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