The (Trans)Link Between Bikes and Better Health

Last week, HASTe staff attended the 2nd Annual Cycling Action Forum, hosted by TransLink in New Westminster, BC.

The theme for this year’s forum was “Cycling – Prescription for a Healthy Mind, Body and Region.” Cycling proponents – planners, advocates, researchers, health specialists, etc. – from communities across Metro Vancouver came together for an afternoon of ideas and discussions. The goal: to understand the many health benefits that can be gained from cycling – both by individuals and their communities – and forge partnerships between transportation and health sectors to better communicate these benefits.

Learn more about the forum and what transpired after the break.

The Forum was moderated by Gordon Price and kicked of by Dr. Meghan Winters, who provided and overview of the health impacts – both positive and negative – of cycling. A panel of experts, representing government, academia and public health, weighed in with different perspectives on the issue, leaving the bulk of the afternoon for facilitated discussion on a number of key themes and topics that emerged from the presentations.

Towards the end of the forum it became clear that virtually everyone was in agreement on the links between cycling and positive health outcomes. But there was little agreement and few ideas on how to leverage this connection to strengthen efforts to improve health or encourage cycling. Finally, a decision was made to “strike a committee to further examine the issue and make recommendations on how to move forward.” Hopefully, the committee makes progress on the matter in time for next year’s event to live up to its billing as a Cycling Action Forum.

For coverage of the event, check out articles in The Buzzer and on the BC Business Website.

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