Monday, 22 June 2009

Cycling as medicine

Fietsersbond, together with medical insurance company Zilveren Kruis Achmea, have a new book called "Fietsen als medicijn", or "Cycling as medicine".

A quick translation of part of the website:

"The book is about the relationship between the bicycle and health. Obesity, hart and cardio-vascular illness, diabetes and depression are at the top of the list of preventable problems. They cause much personal harm and result in high costs in health care. But there is one "all on one" house, garden and kitchen medicine: The bike. In the book, normal people tell how cycling makes them healthier and experts put the medical value of the bicycle in plain language, both for prevention and cure."

They go on with a few examples. e.g.
  • Housewife Monique Ilbrink (120 kg / 260 lbs ) takes her children to school in a bakfiets. 'If I didn't cycle, I'd get fatter'"
  • Former gardener Peter van de Ven cycled after his two heart attacks to become fit again. He is addicted to cycling and now seldom uses a car.
  • Marco Meijerink tells how he can keep his insulin level better under control by cycling.
  • Dr Willem Heckman uses the bike as an anti-depressive. 'A daily round trip of 40 km works just as well as a pill, but without side-effects'
There are other health stories on the blog, including how cycling saves employers money due to lower sickness costs.

Update January 2010: This book has now been placed in thousands of doctors' waiting rooms in the Netherlands.

1 comment:

Nipper said...

A great post. A friend of mine fought off depression by cycling 18 miles a day. Cycling is indeed the best medicine.