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Free2Cycle will help reduce sickness absence in the workplace, which currently costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion per year

13th June 2017

  • Sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion each year (1)
  • The cost to our society and economy of inactivity and obesity is reported to be £27 billion per annum (2)
  • Cycling 10km each way to work would save 1,500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year (5)


Free2Cycle, a nationwide initiative, invites businesses, from independents to multinational corporations, to invest in the health and fitness of their employees by encouraging them to cycle to work. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) indicated that physically active workers take 27 per cent fewer sick days. (3) Furthermore, HR Magazine recently published that 33 per cent of employers said that cyclists are more productive at work, while 44 per cent described those who cycle as being more efficient and 89 per cent said that those who cycle to work were more energised throughout the day. (4)

“As an employer myself, I believe it is a priority to invest in your number one asset - healthier, happier and more productive staff,” explains Free2Cycle’s CEO, Eric G Craig. “Sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion each year, a study published in Economic Evidence report for workplace health 2016 suggests.1 Free2Cycle aims to unlock an estimated 7 million of those employees in Britain who are not currently cycling to work but potentially could and would benefit from doing so. Improving health, wellbeing, and creating meaningful, sustainable environmental improvements are core founding principles of Free2Cycle.”

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.

Next to providing considerable health benefits, cycling also plays an important part as it ‘co-benefits’ in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, conservation of land, air pollution, noise as well as traffic congestion – which contributes to economic prosperity. Cycling 10km each way to work would save an estimated 1,500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year, the Dept. of Transport and Main Roads suggests. (5)

Users of Free2Cycle acquire bikes in exchange for pedal power, therefore effectively for free as no money is exchanged employers, whose duty it is to care for the wellbeing of their staff, contribute to the cost of the bike in monthly payments and in turn reap a return of approximately £10 for every £1 they contribute. By providing bikes to employees and encouraging as well as rewarding their progress of cycling to work, Free2Cycle will inspire more people in Britain to adjust their lifestyle and become more active

To find out more information on Free2Cycle, visit

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1. Health at Work: Economic Evidence Report 2016 (ERS Research and Consultancy)

2. Budget 2016: George Osborne's speech, 16 March 2016,

3. National Institude of Care and Excellence, 2012,

4. HR Magazine, Gabriella Jozwiak, August 5, 2016,

5. Dept. of Transport and Main Roads (AU), 9th May 2017,


Notes to editor

About Free2Cycle:

Growing the wellbeing and wealth of Great Britain, Free2Cycle is a behavioural change initiative that sets itself apart from other cycling business models. Stimulating the cycling economy, Free2Cycle is determined to unlock an estimated 7 million employees in Britain who are not currently cycling to work but potentially could and would benefit from doing so.

How Free2Cycle works:

  • Employer signs up online -
  • Employee enters pledged commuter milage and is given free bike of his/her choice
  • Employee earns the bike by cycling pledged milage
  • Employer contributes 20p per mile their employee cycles to and from work

Incentives for employees:

  • Healthier lifestyle
  • Massive financial gains by not taking public transport (£150 per month)
  • A FREE bike of his/her choice

Incentive for employers:

  • Healthier, happier and appreciated staff
  • Reduced sick days
  • Free2Cycle suppliers each employer a monthly carbon-savings report


Revolutionising the way in which products are purchased, Free2Cycle uses ‘pedal power’ as the currency. By providing employees bikes for free and encouraging them to use them, the employer contributes 20p per commuter mile achieved by the employee (on average £20 - £30 per month). As a central objective driving Free2Cycle, ‘pedal power’ does more than just pay off each employee’s bike; it also helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions. Each employer signed up to Free2Cycle will receive monthly carbon-savings reports. Please note that Free2Cycle is NOT a scheme. Instead, it should be referred to as an ‘initiative’.

About Eric G Craig:

Eric was born in the UK to adventurous parents, and his childhood was spent living in many different countries, enjoying cultural diversity. Throughout his life, Eric has believed that doing what is good for others is both good for business and the soul; this ethos guides his approach to life.