Belgians don't cycle enough

14th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 September 2007, BRUSSELS – Not enough Belgians cycle to work. 60% of those who live less than ten kilometres from work prefer to drive. This has emerged from doctoral research at the Free University Brussels.

14 September 2007

BRUSSELS – Not enough Belgians cycle to work. 60% of those who live less than ten kilometres from work prefer to drive. This has emerged from doctoral research at the Free University Brussels.

The study looked into the connection between the psychological and environmental factors associated with cycling and the effect on health. "A daily cycle to work keeps you physically fit and improves mental strength," says researcher Bas de Geus . Social interaction with the immediate surroundings (partner, family, colleagues and friends) is important to this because it stimulates bicycle use.

"The fact that too few people cycle to work has more to do with psycho-social factors than with environmental factors," de Geus says. A lack of time and interest are the most significant reasons. People who do cycle regularly are usually prompted by ecological-economic awareness.

For the study 65 people, normally non-cyclists, were encouraged to cycle to work for one year. It emerged that three days cycling a week, for a total of at least 130 minutes, was necessary to improve fitness.

From a survey of 343 Flemings who live less than ten kilometres from work it emerged that almost 60 percent always take the car. Only 7 percent (in Belgium) and 12 percent (in Flanders) of those who live less than ten kilometres from work prefer to cycle. The home to work distance is usually not an argument not to cycle. 50 percent of all car journeys are distances of less than five kilometres.

De Geus says that businesses and the government should cooperate to invest in bicycle facilities, like showers at work, rain gear, and well maintained bicycle parking areas. Cycling with a partner should also be promoted, De Geus says.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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