Bicycling and walking saves Colorado more than $3 billion in health costs and contributes $1.6 billion to the local economy, according to a new study commissioned by state economic development, transportation and health agencies.
Coloradans households spent an average $217 on bicycle products and events and $248 on walking and hiking equipment last year. The state’s bicycle industry generated an estimated $185 million in exports and $448 million in tourism.
Physical activity like walking and bicycling reduces the risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases and leads to longer, healthier lives for active Coloradans. The study found 43 percent of Colorado adults rode a bike at least once in the past year and 33 percent walked 101 days or more, making Colorado one of the most active states in the nation. Colorado's current levels of bicycling and walking help prevent 335 deaths per year and save $3.2 billion in health costs.
"This shows that funding biking and walking infrastructure is a good investment for our state - not only for the health of Coloradans, but also for the health of our economy," said Gov. John Hickenlooper.