Friday, March 4, 2011

Will A Bike Ride a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

Researcher Says Portland’s Bike Paths Will Cut Its Health Costs

Swiss epidemiologist Thomas Gotschi, who, incidentally, has never visited Portland, decided to put together the first-ever cost/benefit analysis on biking in a U.S. city. He chose Portland to analyze because of its highest-in-the-nation bike commuter status among big cities. On the cost side, Gotschi added up the city’s past and planned expenditures on biking. On the benefits side, he looked at health care cost savings – how many fewer health care dollars will be spent on Portland’s citizens as a result of their getting more regular exercise from biking, and thus incurring fewer chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

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