Bicycles are to be prescribed on the NHS in an attempt to improve the health of overweight patients.
GPs in Wales will be able to assign six months of bike hire subscriptions on prescription for patients without charge, according to a report by The Telegraph.
The move aims to reduce patients’ chances of a premature death as well as lessen their reliance on medication.
The scheme will be trialled at Lansdowne Surgery and Fairwater Health Centre in Cardiff.
Dr Tom Porter, a consultant in public health medicine with Public Health Wales, said the scheme is also an effective way of improving mental wellbeing.
“Cycling is a fantastic form of physical activity and riding your bike is one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of ill-health while building your cardiovascular fitness. It’s also great for improving mental wellbeing too,” he stated.
He claimed that cycling to work can reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 52%.
“If the approach proves successful we’ll look at making it more widely available across the city,” he added.
The scheme is being piloted with the help of bike hire firm Nextbike.