Words by Lucy Bradford
There is no disguising the fact that the office can be a stressful place; in fact, last year, 37% of all work-related illness was due to stress. However, the solution to stress may be on the saddle.
Regular exercise, such as riding a bike to and from work, can help keep your stress levels at bay. Research shows that workers who are physically active take 27% fewer sick days than their inactive colleagues. Not only does cycling to work help prevent staff from being unwell, it also prevents a fraction of the 11.7 million sick days being taken per year.
Physical activity promotes the production of various hormones such as endorphins and cortisol, allowing you to manage stress more effectively while boosting your mood. Additionally, regular exercise can increase self-confidence. Not only can exercise raise spirits, it also increases performance as proven by a study conducted by Leeds University. The study found that employees who partook in physical activity during their lunchtime went on to work more efficiently.
Considering the positive effects of cycling to work, it is no surprise that in recent years, London alone has seen a 155% increase in people trading the tube for a bicycle. This increase is seen not only in London but across many cities. The result of which is that 760,000 commuters now cycle to work in the UK. A possible cause for the increase in those interested in cycling may well have been the 2012 London Olympics. Following the games, 52% of those surveyed indicated they were more inclined to cycle as a result of Team GB’s success.