Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Every Minute You Spend Riding A Bike Increases Your Lifespan By One Minute

Originally published on People for Bikes.
By Michael Andersen

Sorry, I don’t have time to use the car to get there. That’d take too long — I’d better bike instead.

No, I don’t mean “biking saves you money and time is money.” I mean biking actually saves you time.

No, I don’t just mean during rush hour. Sure, everybody knows that in a city during rush hour, bicycles usually travel faster than cars. No, I mean biking is always more time-efficient than driving.

In fact, a study released last year found that riding a bicycle transports you from place to place instantaneously. As in, it takes no time at all.

Stay with me.



Naturally, this study came out of the University of Utrecht. Utrecht is a Dutch city that’s about the size of Wichita, with the minor difference that about half of all trips of five miles or less in the city happen on bicycles. That means that the Utrecht scientists had really good data to analyze. They studied the habits of 50,000 Dutch people, most of whom rode bicycles for various amounts of time each day, over the course of many years.

Here’s what the study found: for every additional 75 minutes a week that you spend on a bike (that is, for every 11 minutes per day) you generally increase your lifespan by six months.

This isn’t super surprising in principle. Virtually every scientific study of what makes us healthy is just a complicated way of saying one of two things that we all already know: (1) don’t eat much junk food and (2) get your heart beating for a little bit each day, the more the better. Maybe that’s why this study didn’t get wall-to-wall coverage when it came out in 2015: it seemed obvious.

But the longer you think about this finding, the more interesting it becomes.

Eleven minutes per day. That’d be 3,906 minutes per year. Over the course of, say, 70 years, it’s 273,385 minutes.

Which comes out to … six months.

Which is exactly the amount of extra lifespan that these scientists discovered that 11 more minutes of biking per day will give you. Which means…


Every minute you spend on a bicycle increases your lifespan by one minute.

I don’t know about you, but in my case I know that riding a bicycle also makes me happier. The first day I rode a bike to work, I could feel the endorphins tingling appreciatively in my elbows.

But when I’m deciding whether to go somewhere on a bike, I still find myself weighing that happiness against time. Can I afford those extra 10 minutes? I could spend those 10 minutes writing emails, or finally organizing my desk, or just relaxing with Facebook.

But those things don’t actually make me happy. (OK, having a clean desk does, but we both know I’m not actually going to do that.) And one thing is for sure: those minutes don’t come back.

When you think about it, this study means that any time you spend on a bicycle is literally free time. Every minute you spend is coming back to you. Because bicycling is going to give you back all the time you invested, there’s no net time lost.

Which is why, if you do the math, a bicycle is basically a teleporter.

A teleporter that makes you happy.

Saves you money, too.

Beam me up, Scotty.

Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland

Reprinted with permission.

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.


You May Also Like


A vehicle-to-grid experiment is bringing renewable energy to the city of Utrecht.


A new community of 6,000 homes in Utrecht will have room for 20,000 bicycles but no automobiles.


The Dutch government states that a more stable electric grid, better use of renewable energy, and making money with your battery electric car (BEV)...

Air Quality

Originally published on Planetsave. The Pact of Amsterdam has been released, seeking collaboration from EU cities concerning pressing challenges such as air pollution, climate...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.