Have you ever stopped to think about how often you use your car for short journeys? Maybe to get to a place of work, collect shopping, transport the children to/from activities or school. Do you know anyone with a lung condition? Maybe asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis, cancer etc. Do you know what the air quality is like near your home/place of work?
Have you ever stopped to think about the links between unhealthy lifestyles, including lack of exercise and the impact of human behaviour on our planet?
COP26 in Glasgow last year was designed to bring countries together to work towards a better, more healthy, future for our planet and for us. A group of health professionals cycled from London to Glasgow to highlight the link between healthy lifestyle choices and the planet.
Physiotherapists encourage people to live more healthy lifestyles, and this could include walking/cycling shorter distances to work, school, shopping, other activities. Walking and cycling can form part of public health strategies to increase physical activity, they are also good for mental well-being and increase people’s social interactions. Being more active and ultimately healthier and can help keep people out of hospital. By walking and cycling more we are also protecting our planet from the pollutants emitted by most vehicles.
We can all do our bit to decrease our reliance on car use and increase our physical activity by choosing active transport methods for short local journeys.
If fear of cycling on the roads is a factor in your decision making, have you considered your own response as a driver when you encounter a cyclist on the road? How may they feel about your behaviour? When you see that cyclist remember that they are making a healthier choice and are one less car polluting the air around you. There is one less car in the traffic queue ahead.
Next time you go out consider if your car is really the most appropriate means of making that journey.
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