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Waltham Forest study of life expectancy benefits of increased physical activity from walking and cycling

Publication date: 

16 Jul 2018



David Dajnak and Heather Walton

Publication type: 



Waltham Forest (WF) commissioned King’s College London (King’s) to look at the beneficial effects of cycling and increased pedestrianism on health in terms of calorie expenditure, as well as changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices of residents and visitors resulting from changes to
the area. There are many studies showing links between increased physical activity and reduced risks of allcause mortality (mainly via reduced risks of cardiovascular mortality). This report is the second (of two1 ) describing the benefits of reduced mortality from increased physical activity in Waltham Forest. This was done by incorporating physical activity data into the King’s College London lifetable tool for the first time. More specifically it covers:
 Health benefits of physical activity such as cycling/walking in Waltham Forest
 Health benefits of physical activity from the school run
For general trends in physical activity, King’s obtained London Travel Demand Survey (LTDS) data on numbers and duration of Waltham Forest walking and cycling trips from Transport for London which, when combined with relationships between physical activity and mortality, was used to
calculate the gains in life-expectancy from the increases in walking and cycling in Waltham Forest. The school run calculations were similar but the physical activity associated with the school run used Sustainable Travel: Active, Responsible, Safe (STARS) survey data. School run trends over
time were derived from estimates of potential increases in walking or cycling journeys to school provided by the Enjoy Waltham Forest team based on existing trends and speculative scenarios considered to be broadly achievable.