Body Issues and Helmet Hair Cited as Reasons for Low Numbers of Women Commuting by Bike

A new report from the cycle industry into Britain’s progress as a cycling to work nation reveals the extent to which the UK is experiencing the ‘cycling revolution’ called for by David Cameron in 2013.

The report, authored by Cyclescheme, the UK’s leading cycle to work provider, reveals the addictive and contagious nature of commuting by bike, as well as the snowball effect of active commuting on the nation’s health, based on the habits of nearly 10,000 cycle commuters. In addition to this, the survey revealed some really interesting statistics surrounding the relatively low number of women cycling to work.

Body image issues and appearance accounted for a huge percentage of women who are reluctant to cycle to work. 28% said they didn’t want to arrive at the office sweaty, 19% said they were too self-conscious while 25% in total cited unmanageable hair and helmet hair as the main barrier. Clearly they haven’t seen our fantastic Helmet Hair series!

It is hoped that the number of women commuting to work by bike will increase over the next number of years and the ratio of men to women will become closer to the 50:50 split seen in Holland.

Overall it is hoped that there will be 1.2 million cycle commuters on the roads by 2025. Even if just 10% of journeys on the roads are made by bike, it is set to save the NHS a whopping £2.5billion.

The benefits of commuting by bike are pretty endless. In addition to reduced health costs, it is said that people who cycle to work are better employees – less stressed and taking fewer sick days, save money on transport costs, lead healthier lives – consuming fewer cigarettes and less alcohol.

Mr Grey Giddins, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at BMI Bath Clinic: “Those who commute by bike, and therefore exercise regularly, are less likely to smoke and drink heavily and become ill less, showing a snowball effect on other areas of our health. If we were all to take up cycling to work, we’d not only see a much healthier population, but an improved economy too with workers showing increased productivity and taking fewer sick days.”

Richard Grigsby, founder, Cyclescheme says: “The next 10 years are pivotal to the UK’s growth in cycling to work. This report shows we currently have the momentum we need for a ‘cycling revolution’ to take off but we need to capitalise on this and show individuals that the benefits outweigh many of the barriers, whilst encouraging government, local councils and employers to invest in the infrastructure needed to maximise on this potential.”

With many changes due to be made to cycling infrastructure over the next couple of years across the UK’s major cities it will be interesting to see how the cycle culture in Britain evolves.

You can check out the full report here.


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