Mail Online published about the new research that unveils a positive correlation between commuting on two wheels and a reduced likelihood of being prescribed antidepressants . Examining nearly 380,000 individuals in Scotland, the University of Edinburgh found that cycling to work notably diminishes the risk of mental health prescriptions, especially for women. Despite more men embracing cycling, the mental health benefits were more pronounced among female cyclists.
Mental Health Boost for Commuter Cyclists
Analysis combining census and National Health Service (NHS) data for 378,253 people uncovered a 15% drop in depression or anxiety prescriptions among those cycling to work compared to non-cyclists over five years.
The study focused on Edinburgh and Glasgow residents within one mile of a cycle path who initially had no mental health prescriptions.
Dr. Laurie Berrie notes that the study mimicked a randomized controlled trial, emphasizing the proximity of cycle paths as a key factor.
Implications for Health and Environment
The study funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), suggests investing in cycle paths and promoting active commuting could enhance mental well-being, reduce carbon emissions, and alleviate road congestion.
Professor Chris Dibben highlights the wide-ranging benefits indicating that encouraging cycling aligns with a sustainable and health-focused transportation strategy.
With cycling rates in Glasgow and Edinburgh varying, the study emphasizes the potential positive impact on mental health, air quality, and congestion with increased cycling.