Britain turns to cycling to improve, health, environment

Britain is promoting cycling and walking to reduce the problem of obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The comprehensive program developed by the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence was announced this week.

“This guidance sets out how people can be encouraged to increase the amount they walk or cycle for travel or recreation purposes. This will help meet public health and other goals (for instance, to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions),” the institute said.

It was aimed at commissioners, managers and practitioners involved in physical activity promotion or whose work was related to the environment, parks and leisure or transport planning in councils, health service and other public, private, voluntary and community organisations, including those promoting cycling and walking, and general members of the public.

Cycling and walking included adapted cycles – trikes, tandems and handcycles – wheelchairs and similar mobility aids.

Encouraging and enabling people to cycle or walk required action on many fronts by many different organisations to deal with a range of issues, including environmental, social, financial and personal factors, the institute said.

The recommendations covered local programs, policy and planning, schools, workplaces and the health service.

Measures to reduce road dangers and reallocate road space to make cycling and walking safer, also were needed.

For individual sections of the NICE document to download, save and share, start here: http://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/walking-and-cycling

The full 146-page PDF document is available on the site.

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