Doctors and medical students from Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) will be cycling through Melbourne this Saturday morning in the lead-up to Bicycle Network Victoria’s Ride2Work Day. They are aiming to raise awareness of the health and environmental benefits of cycling.
Cycling is a key preventative health measure as it promotes activity and helps reduce pollution. Physical inactivity directly costs the Australian health system $1.5 billion each year.
“Active transport is the smart choice for our health as well as for the environment” said Dr Margaret Beavis, general practitioner and spokesperson for DEA. Dr Beavis also has a Masters of Public Health researching health, urban planning and transport.
“In 2011 the World Health Organization identified promoting physical activity as a best buy for reducing rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, anxiety and depression as well as breast, bowel and other cancers”, said Dr Beavis.
“Studies have shown that in Melbourne, car drivers spend a fraction of the time that public transport users do per day undergoing incidental exercise.”
“Decreasing motor vehicle use is a win-win situation for rising levels of obesity, CO2 mitigation and ensuring clean air. It has been shown that for each additional hour spent in a car per day there is a 6% increase in the likelihood of obesity, and urban air pollution has been estimated to account for twice as many deaths as our national road toll per annum”, stated Dr Eugenie Kayak, Victorian DEA Chair.
“There is an urgent need to expand public transport, cycle paths and footpaths to make healthy transport options easier for people in our community. Continued prioritisation of road transport is a poor choice for our present and future health, health budget and environment.”
Where: Federation Square
When: 11am Saturday September 21st
Dr Margaret Beavis 0401 995 699
Dr Eugenie Kayak 0419 685 574
For further information on health and economic impacts of air pollution: