Drop this one into the ‘duh’ category, but research is now supporting the long-held notion that biking is good for individual and community health. Last week, the journalĀ Environmental Health Perspectives published findings from a study by scientists at the University of Wisconsin on the economic and health benefits of switching from a car to a bike for trips shorter than five miles long in 11 metropolitan areas around the upper Midwest.

Researchers found that if inhabitants of the sample region switched to bikes for half of their short trips, they’d create a net societal health benefit of $3.5 billion per year from the increase in air quality and $3.8 billion in savings from smaller health care costs associated with better fitness and fewer mortalities from a decreased rate of car accidents.

Thanks to the good people at GOOD for highlighting the study.