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Green issues come in second to health concerns in an encouraging uptake of cycling, according to latest research

Health and fitness converting more cyclists

Research by Cycleguard has banished the theory that new cyclists are appearing in waves due to eco concerns.

Expanding waistlines accounted for why 40 per cent of the insurer’s survey respondents took up cycling, which also saw many admit to being ‘fair weather’ cyclists only.

According to the British Heart Foundation, cycling at least 20 miles per week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease to less than half that of non-cyclists. A study by Leeds Cycling Action Group found a 15 minute ride five days a week burns off the equivalent of 11lbs of fat a year.

James Pickering, managing director of Cycleguard, said: “Cycling to work is undoubtedly a great way to keep fit and with so many excellent deals around, it’s a perfect way for anyone wanting to work off any extra pies without it costing them the earth.”

As gym memberships suffer a decline, the uptake of the Government’s Cycle To Work incentive has risen sharply.

30 per cent of the survey’s respondents did initially begin cycling to work as a way to cut their weekly expenditure on fuel, suggesting that even those being eco-conscious may be just as interested in cutting their costs to free up cash. Just seven per cent stated environmental concerns to be their primary reason for cycling to work.

Pickering added: “We advise anyone thinking about cycling to work to consider insuring their bike with a specialist provider. Insurance will prevent cyclists new found enthusiasm for two wheels from burning a substantial hole in their pocket should the worst happen.”

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