One of the biggest benefits of a bike-sharing program at UIUC would be the positive health impact on campus!
For instance, a study in Portland, Oregon–one of the greatest biking cities in the USA–finds that its current bicycling investments will save Oregon residents an overall total of $63 million healthcare costs by 2017! This isn’t exactly surprising as “[c]ountries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates” and the Center for Disease Control finds that obesity is correlated with a whole host of health conditions:
- coronary heart diseases
- type 2 diabetes
- various cancers
- liver and gallbladder diseases
- sleep apneas
Appleton at road.cc discusses how bicycling is also relevant to mental wellbeing as “cyclists find their mode of transport at least as flexible and convenient as those who use cars, with lower stress and greater feelings of freedom, relaxation and excitement,” something we all need in a high-stress world!
Last, Lee from Livestrong finds that exercise directly correlates very well with academic achievement and concentration, and “may be linked to preventing a range of cognitive and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.” Well-planned bicycle-sharing programs will certainly encourage individuals to exercise more often; for example, bicycle-riding in Paris, France–which has one of the world’s largest and most successful bike-sharing programs–has since increased by an overwhelming 70% since the introduction of the Vélib bicycle-sharing program in 2007!
Because of all these figures, we predict that establishing a bike-sharing program at the University of Illinois will have a profound impact on both the health of students, faculty, and staff here.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more!