What is the Economic Cost of Inactivity?
- Several countries (mostly in Europe) have done health economics studies to calculate the cost of inactivity. These studies generally take into account the cost of medical treatment, employment/production losses, and costs of social assistance.
- For Norway the result is 980 Euro per person per year.
- For Switzerland the result is 564 Euro per person per year.
- In Finland the result is 1,200 Euro per person per year.
- Some countries now actually include this data in cost benefit analysis of road infrastructure projects(6)
What About Ontario's Weather?
- Poor cycling infrastructure and safety are much larger deterrents to bicycling than poor weather. The Yukon has the highest bike share of work trips (2.0%) in Canada, and the Northern Territories (1.6%) far exceed both Ontario (1.0%) and Quebec (1.2%). (5)
- Cities across Europe that have climates very similar to Ontario cities have much higher rates of cycling than we do (Table 3). This suggests that weather plays a minor role (at most) in decisions about cycling.
Table 3: Comparison the Percentage of People Who Bike to Work in Three Cities with Similar Weather
Adapted from: Bicycle Use and Safety in Paris, Boston, and Amsterdam (31)
||Average Annual Temperature
||Average Annual Precipitation
||Percentage of People Who Bike to Work