Cycling to work 'cuts risk of developing cancer and heart disease by almost half'

Cycling to work cuts the risk of developing cancer and heart disease by almost half, research suggests.

Walking to work is also good for you, but it does not offer the same benefits as cycling, according to research by experts at the University of Glasgow.

The study found cycling to work is linked to a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease - compared to taking public transport or driving to work.

People who walked to work for two hours a week, at an average speed of three miles per hour, also saw health benefits.

Workers in the City of London. Credit: PA

Research on 264,337 people over a five year period found walking to work was associated with a 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 36% lower risk of dying from it.

However the study, published in the British Medical Journal, explained that cycling is a more intense form of exercise, with cyclists covering longer distances and were generally more fit.

Archive photo of commuters on a train in Upminster. Credit: PA

Dr Carlos Celis-Morales, from the University of Glasgow, said: "Walking to work was associated with lower risk of heart disease, but unlike cycling was not associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer or overall death.

"This may be because walkers commuted shorter distances than cyclists, typically six miles per week, compared with 30 miles per week, and walking is generally a lower intensity of exercise than cycling."