Cycling to Work: A Healthier, Happier, and More Productive Workforce

Cycling to Work: A Healthier, Happier, and More Productive Workforce
Mia Española
15 June 2024
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Research has demonstrated that employees who commute by bicycle experience many mental and physical advantages that result in a more engaged and high-performing workforce.


According to the British Medical Association, regular cyclists enjoy a level of fitness equal to someone 10 years younger. Cycling just 20 miles per week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50%.


Engaging in physical activity, such as a regular bike commute, helps control weight, reduces the risk of diseases like diabetes (by 20%) and cancer (by 45%), improves muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness, and promotes better sleep. A study conducted by the University of Glasgow found that commuting to work by bike can decrease the risk of developing heart disease and cancer by 45%.

Furthermore, a study from the University of East Anglia discovered that individuals who replaced their car commutes with bicycle rides lowered their risk of developing diabetes by 31%. Regular cycling can also reduce high blood pressure, a condition that affects 1 in 4 adults.

The Mental Health Boost


In addition to the physical benefits, cycling is also great for mental health and well-being. A study conducted by MIND discovered that 91% of regular cyclists reported improvements in their mental health as a result of cycling. The exercise releases endorphins, which enhance mood, reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus and concentration, and promote better sleep.

Cycling has also been demonstrated to help alleviate depression. Further research from MIND revealed that 83% of participants experienced reduced levels of depression after regularly cycling for a month. Employees experiencing less stress, anxiety, and depression can lead to a happier, more positive workforce.


Arriving at work feeling energized rather than stressed from a hectic commute also allows employees to start their day in a more positive frame of mind. Research shows that employees who cycle to work take 1.3 fewer sick days per year than colleagues who drive or use public transit.

Increased Productivity

The combination of improved physical and mental health from cycling contributes to a more productive and engaged workforce. Numerous studies have found that employees who exercise before work or commute by bike exhibit higher levels of job performance, concentration, motivation, work quality, and time management skills.


A study conducted by the University of Bristol discovered that employees who exercised before work or during their commute reported managing their time more effectively (a 79% improvement), being more productive (a 71% improvement), and accomplishing more work (a 73% improvement) compared to colleagues who didn’t exercise. On average, employees estimated a 15% increase in productivity on days they cycled to work.


Furthermore, research from Cyclescheme found that 70% of employees felt more motivated after cycling to work, and 73% reported an increase in job satisfaction. Cycling also helps boost concentration levels, with 54% of employees stating they could concentrate better after cycling.

The Numbers Don't Lie

The statistics are self-evident:

91% of regular cyclists report improvements in mental health
83% experienced reduced depression after cycling regularly for a month
Cycling 20 miles per week reduces heart disease risk by 50%
Cycling to work reduces cancer risk by 45% and diabetes risk by 31%
Cyclists take 1.3 fewer sick days per year than non-cyclists
79% improvement in time management for employees who cycle
71% increase in productivity for bike commuters
70% of employees felt more motivated after cycling to work
54% could concentrate better after cycling


With benefits like these, it's evident that encouraging employees to cycle to work can produce substantial dividends for companies looking to build a healthier, happier, more engaged, and more productive workforce. Providing bike storage, showers, and other cycling amenities can greatly facilitate bike commuting for staff.


British Medical Association - https://www.bma.org.uk/media/2082/cycling-toolkit-03-2019.pdf
University of Glasgow study - https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/archiveofnews/2017/april/headline_522765_en.html
MIND studies - https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/physical-activity-and-your-mental-health/
Sick days stat - https://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyamohn/2013/05/07/go-ahead-and-ride-your-bike-to-work/#5d0d8b9d7ec9
University of Bristol productivity study - https://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2011/7976.html
Cyclescheme research - https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/community/featured/the-benefits-of-cycling-to-work
University of East Anglia diabetes study - https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/swapping-cars-for-bikes-could-save-millions-of-pounds-in-health-costs


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