Ride to Work Day; Read This and Then Get On Your Bike
Let’s cut to the chase; we sit in an office all day and then we go and sit some more for our various other commitments. We all know we should exercise, but gyms are expensive, we don’t have the time (no, really –we don’t have the time), and… sitting is fun.
As a shameless cyclist (you might have seen me around with my dorky neons #safteyfirst) I’d like to make the case for biking to work.
Before I wax lyrical about the ridiculous health benefits, I think we should examine the practicalities- because that’s the real hold up. In Australia, for commutes of under 10km to work, cycling is the fastest mode of travel. Yes, actually. It’s pretty often that I pass car after car backed up along St. Kilda Rd, and think to myself how lucky I am to have the freedom to zip along in the bike lane past them. For cycling 5-10kms, you’re looking at a time commitment of about 15-30mins. Even on my old squeaky bike, I still beat the time it takes me to tram. Plus, it’s more reliable than Metro.
That’s the real drawcard of cycling over other forms of exercise- it fits effortlessly into your current schedule, and doesn’t require any further commitment juggling acts.
Save $ & the world
Next up; it’s eco-friendly and cheaper than driving. This one is pretty straightforward. Cycling is a zero-emissions mode of transport. On the other hand, a 10km drive to work every day generates 1.3 tonnes of greenhouse gas every year. So you can feel pretty good about not contributing to global warming. Plus- aside from minimal costs for upkeep- cycling is free.
Health & wellness
Aside from the great benefits of simply spending more time outside (and it being just plain fun), there are also astonishing health outcomes associated with cycling to work.
Last year, the British Medical Journal published the largest study comparing outcomes of commuting modes done to date, which followed the habits and health of a quarter million Brits for five years. Rates of mortality were compared for people who cycled, walked, drove or took public transport, or mixed mode transport (e.g., cycle some of the way and drove some of the way), and adjusted to take other factors into consideration (such as the rate of road accidents).
Researchers found that cycling to work was associated with a 41% lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Cyclists a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer. They also had 46% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer at all. Walkers and and mixed-modes didn’t experience benefits to the same degree, possibly because the total exercise distance is shorter than those who cycle the whole way, or because walking is a lower intensity exercise.
What that means is that – not only can cycling to work save you time today – but it can buy you more time in the future; you’re more likely to live longer than if you drive to work. If that’s not the best incentive you’ve heard of, I don’t know what is.
Oh. Except for that if you join CoWork Me in riding to work on Wednesday 17 October you’ll get brecky on us at work.
For all these reasons – you’ll save time, save the environment, add years to your life, and get free breakfast- wherever you’re coming from, add some cycling into your morning commute and rock up to work with us on Wednesday. We’ve got dedicated bike racks in the car park for you to keep your steed safe, too.
Plus, who knows. Maybe you’ll love it so much you’ll become a dedicated bike nerd like me, too.
Ride2Work Day is a national Australian initiative to encourage people to cycle to work. You can check out the campaign here and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to register with us for the event.
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