Why should you cycle to work?
With traffic in major cities on the rise, delayed travel time, petrol costs going up, and you’re sick of pounding your head against the steering wheel while caught in another traffic jam. Thankfully there are other alternatives to getting to work such as cycling. If you checked one of the above boxes you are a prime candidate to why you should cycle to work. The benefits of cycling to work are endless, saving you both money, time and the health benefits are two to none. Below are some reasons while more and more people are leaving their car at home and jumping on the bike.
Cycling to work is a relatively low-cost alternative to driving. You are no longer purchasing the same amount of fuel for the car while being reminded of the rising gas prices. Lower maintenance cost of your car, while minimizing the percentage risk of a breakdown or untimely repair costs.
A recent study in America showed that the average yearly cost of owning a sedan was $9,000 USD, While a commuter bike retails at anywhere from $250-1500 USD. While commuters can benefit from such things as fenders, a rack or cycling gear. For the most part, it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. With roughly a yearly maintenance cost of around $50-200 USD, meaning unless you want to maintain the maintenance of your bike yourself, the running cost of owning a bike could save you upwards of $7000 USD the first year. Not a bad deal!
When you talk to most people about why you should cycle to work, the most common misconception is it’s inconvenient. In most major cities, there is a rise in both traffic and roadworks meaning you are more likely to save time cycling. Cyclists are less likely to get stuck in traffic jams and aren’t susceptible to the usual transit delays. This includes both driving and public transport. Specific cycling backpacks and panniers now fill the market, making any work materials such as your laptop and clothing easy to carry and typically these bags are waterproof, meaning it is more than safe to carry any valuables with you.
If your bike to work is less than 15km round trip, the difference in commuting time would be insignificant. Even if your commute is longer, the 30mins of added sleep won’t be as invigorating as riding early morning. You will arrive at work refreshed and alert, while the evening ride home should leave you stress-free and relaxed. Allowing you not to face the aggravation of being stuck in rush hour traffic and we won’t even talk about the fact that you would have to rush off to an evening workout to help you unwind.
Nowadays most employers provide facilities to make it more convenient for people cycling to work, providing secure bike parking and showers to its employees.
If your time hungry and juggling work, family and fitness into everyday, cycling to work is a way to kill two birds with one stone allowing you to squeeze in your daily exercise both before and after work.
While the exact calories burned cycling varies between each person, based on time cycling, speed and the topography. Cycling on average can burn as many calories as running. While providing a lower impact on the joints. The national health organization states for healthy adults between 19-64 years old, 150mins of weekly exercise is needed to stay healthy, while the average cycling commuter spends around 30mins a day traveling to work.
Cycling to work is a convenient way to improve cardiovascular and aerobic fitness while helping to lower blood pressure and improve coordination, without the added impact of running. Many studies have shown early morning exercise can help concentration levels throughout the day, so sneaking in the health benefits of cycling to work is a positive for most, if not all people.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that exercise or physical activity is good for you. What many of you don’t know is just how good it can be. While cycling provides an added fitness routine to your day, it also provides major health benefits. A recent study in the Uk (http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1456) followed people for around five years. Counting incidences of death, cancer and heart disease. They found that people cycling to work had a 46% lower risk of developing heart disease, and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer. Other studies have shown cycling can boost your brainpower, relationships, and happiness.
Most people would think a city cyclist would inhale more pollution from vehicles. According to a study by the Imperial College London, showed that researchers found passengers in cars, taxis and buses substantially inhaled more pollution than that of your typical cyclist or walker. On average the average taxi passenger was exposed to over 100,000 ultrafine particles which can damage cells and the lungs. While bus passengers inhaled just under 100 000 and passengers in cars typically was around 40 000. Cyclists on the other hand only were exposed to just under 8000 ultrafine particles per cubic centimeter. The results found that your typical cyclist breathed fewer fumes since they are riding at the edge of the road, rather than in the direct line of exhaust smoke.
Productivity at work
Recent studies have shown the cycling raises productivity. Exercising before work has been shown to raise an employee’s productivity by up to 15%. When you exercise you are increasing blood flow to the brain, which helps sharpen awareness. While exercise has been proven to give you more energy, it means you will be more awake at work. Being at the top of your game will assure you work is performed to the highest of standard and best of your ability.
So why should you cycle to work? Cycling is a low-cost investment that provides numerous health benefits while both helping you to save money, free up more time during your day and stay healthy.