Do the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks?

Jeroen Johan de Hartog, Hanna Boogaard, Hans Nijland and Gerard Hoek

We describe whether the health benefits from the increased physical activity of a modal shift for urban commutes outweigh the health risks.

Background: Although from a societal point of view a modal shift from car to bicycle may have beneficial health effects due to decreased air pollution emissions, decreased greenhouse gas emisĀ­sions, and increased levels of physical activity, shifts in individual adverse health effects such as higher exposure to air pollution and risk of a traffic accident may prevail.

University of Utrecht, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Bilthoven, the Netherlands

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