Ditch the car for pedal power: UK doctors change the game in war against obesity

  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had reportedly said now is the golden age for cycling.
Cycling is making a comeback as more and more people around the world take to it for both transportation needs and for exercise.
Cycling is making a comeback as more and more people around the world take to it for both transportation needs and for exercise.

Covid-19 pandemic has given a boost to cycle makers in many countries and while its effects continue to challenge the auto industry, people turning to pedal power is increasing by the day. In the UK, cycling may not just be the more practical way of getting from one place to another but is actually being prescribed by doctors as the country declares war on obesity.

Many medical experts have highlighted how the very real problem of obesity in the UK has been compounded by weeks of sitting inside homes during lockdown. With gyms and public workout areas out of bounds, the waistlines have expanded and expanded scope of possible consequent medical complications. With the economy in uncertain territory preventing most from purchasing new vehicles and the pandemic forcing people to largely steer clear of mass transit options, cycles have emerged as the true winners in more sense than one.

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While cycling offers a sense of personal mobility, it has also been considered a good form of exercise and one that can now tackle the even more real problem of obesity. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to roll out the Better Health Campaign and has repeatedly made referenced to his own weight as a problem area when he contacted Covid-19.

Also Read : Dethroning the car? People in this city hit cycling lanes to evade coronavirus)

A report in UK's Mirror now states that among a number of measures that medical professionals are advising, cycling enjoys a place of prominence. Most agree that Covid-19 has come as a wake-up call to address the issue of obesity which cost the country's National Health Service upwards of £6 billion each year.

As such, cycles can prove to be a cost-effective health tonic.

Guardian reported back in May that cycle sales in the country had shot up significantly. Sale of second-hand cycles alone saw a jump of 23% in the month, compared to figures from May of 2019. Even bikes which cost upwards of £500 are finding many takers. With the sun out in all its glory, Britons are expected to continue embracing cycling in the foreseeable future.

First Published Date: 27 Jul 2020, 11:02 AM IST

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