Ten reasons why encouraging employees to cycle to work is good for business:
1) More productive workforce
HR Magazine recently published that 33 per cent of employers said that cyclists are more productive at work, while 44% described those who cycle as being more efficient and 89% said that those who cycle to work were more energised throughout the day.
2) Fewer sick days
Sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion each year. It is estimated that an average London firm of 250 members loses around £250,000 a year due to ill health. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) indicated that physically active workers take 27 per cent fewer sick days.
3) Cycling to work will keep the cold and flu doctor away
Studies have shown that regular cycling will help strengthen the immune thereby reducing ill health being introduced into the workplace. Those who sign up to workplace cycling initiatives are more likely to reduce presenteeism (the problem of workers being on the job but not fully functioning) among the workforce.
4) Staff are more likely to turn up on time
Employees who arrive late at work are costing the economy £9 billion a year. Cycling during peak hours is proven to contribute to reductions in carbon emissions, and a reduction in congestion, improving overall traffic flow.
5) Cyclists are good for the environment
Cycling 10km each way to work would save 1,500kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Cycling initiatives that give employers a monthly carbon-savings allow companies to monitor how much they are contributing to a greener, cleaner environment.
6) Happy employees all round
A study carried out by the YMCA revealed that exercise makes you happier. Researchers surveyed 1,000 UK adults on a variety of factors affecting wellbeing, such as feeling cheerful and being optimistic about the future, and then analysed the relationship between their answers and their lifestyle. The results showed that those living a physically active lifestyle had a wellbeing score that is 32 per cent higher than those with inactive lifestyles.
7) Saving your employees money - what if commuting was free?
Employees could save on average £150 per month on the savings from public transport. Staff feel valued when being informed how they can save money. Cycling initiatives that offer employees - regardless of income - a completely free bike of their choice, gives employers the tools to look after their number one asset, their staff.
8) Cycling is a proven antidepressant
Mental health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK and is on the increase. 15.2 million days of sickness absences in 2013 were caused by everyday conditions such as stress, anxiety or depression. A study by Science Direct found that aerobic exercise, such as cycling, can reduce generalised anxiety as well as reduce anxiety sensitivity, which is a precursor to panic attacks and panic disorder.
9) Cycling to work ‘halves your risk of heart disease and cancer’
In the largest study into the impact of cycling on the reduction of cancer and heart disease, a five-year study conducted by the University of Glasgow compared people who had an 'active' commute with those who were mostly stationary. It concluded that regular cycling cut the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46% - Dr Jason Gill.
10) It's proven that offering your employees a bike and encouraging a fitter, healthier lifestyle will make your staff feel more valued
A new behavioural change initiative called Free2Cycle recently launched in the UK to provide employees - regardless of income - with a free bike and encourages them to use it. Free2Cycle aims to get millions more people peddling to work.