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September 15, 2015

Cyclists more likely to arrive at work refreshed and motivated

Cycling could be the answer to arriving at work with a spring in your step according to new research from Aviva.

In a study of 2,000 working UK adults1, more than half of those who cycle to work said they arrive refreshed after their commute. Just 1 in 10 car and bus users claimed the same thing and that figure dropped to 1 in 20 for train and tube passengers.

Almost a quarter of cyclists (24%) also reported feeling motivated after their typical commute, scoring higher than any other common form of commuting, including walking. This is double the proportion of bus passengers (12%) who claimed that their commute improved their motivation levels, and triple the proportion of drivers (8%) and four times the proportion of train and tube users (6%).

For overall impact on mood, commuting on two wheels came up trumps again with more than half (53%) of cyclists saying that riding into work improved how they felt. Walking was next best as a mood enhancer (38%), followed by motorbike (33%), bus (18%), car (14%) and finally train or tube (9%).

Dr Doug Wright, Medical Director at Aviva UK Health, said:

“It’s clear that the way people commute to work has a major impact on how they feel when they arrive. It seems from our research that if you are willing to jump on a bike and get to work under your own steam it can boost your mood as well as your physical health.”

Commuters long to be cyclists

Despite the positive effects reported by those who cycle to work, using a car for commuting was by far the most common form of transport, followed by buses, walking and trains or tubes.

However, it would appear that there are a number of commuters who actually long to be cyclists. 11% of drivers, along with 9% of train and tube passengers, 7% of walkers and 6% of bus users all admitted that in an ideal world they would use a bike to get to work.

Cost and fitness

Unsurprisingly, those who cycle to work were also most likely to say they were generally happy with their fitness (71%), beating walkers (63%), train travellers (56%) and car drivers (54%). Those who said they don’t have any commute to work were the least likely to feel happiness about their fitness levels (36%).

When it comes to the cost of a commute, shoe-leather was the winner with those who walk to work most likely to spend absolutely nothing getting to the office. Cyclists weren’t far behind but it was train and tube passengers reporting the most expensive journeys, spending an average of £54 a week.

“It’s interesting that there appears to be a desire to cycle to work, but often that isn’t being acted upon,” said Dr Doug Wright. “Previous research we’ve done2 has shown that can be for a number of reasons, often around safety and the distance people live from their workplace. But if businesses want to improve the mood of their workforce, it might be an area to explore.

“Offering a Bike to Work scheme, showers at the office or secure bike storage could help convert some drivers to cyclists and businesses could see a benefit from that.”