Why we should take the bike more often

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Taking a pushbike is healthier for yourself and better for the environment. Everyone knows that, but what is the true health benefit of taking a bike instead of the car? And what is the effect of cars on the environment? Here are some facts.

Infographic on cycling by hiresquare Create by Hiresquare with Piktochart.

Pollution

  • Research has shown that around 75% of Melbourne's urban air pollution is caused by vehicle emissions (Betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
  • Over 3,000 Australians are estimated to die from air pollution each year (Environmental Justice Australia).
  • 27,519 healthy years of life are lost by Australians due to exposure to air pollution EVERY YEAR.
  • Smoky vehicles are cars that smoke from its exhaust pipe continuously for more than 10 seconds. Smoky cars significantly emit more toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. (Victorian government).

Commuting

  • The average commuting time by car in Perth is 20 minutes when there is hardly any traffic (Businessnews - 2013).
  • This is extended to 31 minutes in peak traffic.
  • The average commuting distance in Perth is 14 15km (Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development)
  • The average cycling speed is 22km/h (Perthnow), although that seems quite high for most people. Globally the average commuters travels at 16km/h. (bikecommuters).

Other destinations

  • A sample taken by Hiresquare showed that the average distance to a supermarket is roughly 1.5km. Many people walk at an average pace of 5km/h (Wikipedia). Walking to and from the supermarket takes 36 minutes or 11 minutes by bicycle.
  • A sample taken by Hiresquare showed that the average distance to a primary school is 2 km.
  • Children cycle at an average speed of 4 km/h (US National Library of Medicine).
  • Cycling to school takes 30 minutes with your child and 8 minutes without.

Calories & health

  • On average a 10k bike ride of a person that's roughly 72kg will help burn roughly 230 calories. (bicycling.com and livestrong).
  • That's 9,967 calories a month if you ride your bike to and from work every day.
  • By nutritional standards 3,500 calories is 450 grams.
  • That equals losing 1.3kg of fat each month by replacing your car by your bike for commuting.
  • A sportier commuter at 22km/h that rides 15km to and from work would burn 900 calories a day or losing 2.5kg of fat per month.

Costs

  • The average cost per kilometre for driving a car (fuel, tires, service & repairs) is between 45 and 154 cent. ( RACQ )
  • Let's say the average would be 65 cent dollar per kilometre. Commuting by bicycle would save you $422 per month or $5064 per year excluding bicycle maintenance cost.

At Hiresquare we promote sustainable living, Health & Safety, repurposing products, sharing and hiring instead of buying. You can hire bikes here.