June 21, 2015

Those Who Bike to Work 40% Less Likely to Feel Stressed

New research from the University of Stanford’s Calming Technology Lab shows that people who bike to work daily are much less likely to feel stressed. 40% less likely, to be exact.

The study assessed the breathing patterns of 10,000 commuters during their journeys to and from work via the Spire Inc wearable device. It was discovered that those who drove a car or took public transport experienced more rapid breathing patterns on their commute – a clear indicator of stress. It was found that those who cycled to work showed much fewer occurrences of these breathing patterns, suggesting cyclists are keeping their cool.

The new (but not surprising) findings tie in nicely with the results of a ten year study conducted by the University of East Anglia and University of York. These indicated that cycling makes employees less stressed on the way to work and more productive during the day. Neema Maravejir, co-founder of the Calming Tech Lab and Spire Inc, said that cycling also helps many people transition from the working day into their home lives much easier. (Something which, as we all know, can be very tricky to do.)

Overall, cycling was found to have very positive psychological and emotional benefits for commuters, and put them in a calmer state of mind both before and after work.

Why is cycling so relaxing? Well, we can think of a few reasons.

1. It’s meditative.

The rhythmic motion of pedaling gives the rider something to concentrate on as they ride, often having a soothing, calming effect.

2. It puts you amongst nature.

Okay, so you might not class the urban jungle as ‘nature’. But when you ride to work, you’re getting plenty of fresh air, which is more than you’d get if you were on a train or using the underground.

3. It allows the body to cope with stress.

As well as being a relatively non-stressful activity in itself, cycling can also help to reduce the stress you may already be carrying around. Our bodies were designed to get moving when the going gets tough, so regular exercise enables us to cope with stress in a way our bodies were meant to and keep that blood pressure from getting too high.

4. It’s a confidence booster.

Maybe you’ll start to lose weight. Maybe you’ll notice you can cycle longer distance without getting out of breath. Or maybe you’ll just start to get faster at pushing those pedals.

Whatever it is, you will start to notice a positive change in your body in some way, and this can be a massive confidence booster and mood lifter.

5. It keeps you stimulated.

Instead of taking the same bus, train or drive to work every day, cycling enables you to change up your route as often as you like, keeping your surroundings fresh and interesting. Not only does this stimulate the brain and get you excited about your morning commute, but it can also help boost creativity and mental flexibility.

By Aimee Whitehill
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    One of the things that attracted us to Bike 2 Work Scheme was the number of cycle shops available enabling our employees to access one near them, which appears to have encouraged take up of the scheme. Having circulated the leaflets provided, there has been a lot of interest once people could see how easy and financially advantageous it was. All our dealings with the scheme have been very professionally handled, all our queries answered, and paperwork dealt with speedily. We would recommend Bike 2 Work to any employer.

    Peter Langton - Promart Homecenter

    I only heard about Bike 2 Work Scheme when I visited my local cycle shop. It was great to hear that the government actually had a scheme in place which made cycling cost effective for the employee, whilst promoting a healthier lifestyle. Setting up the scheme was extremely easy, they made sure that we had everything that we required and was always on standby to answer any questions. I would happily recommend the Bike 2 Work Scheme to any employer.  

    Tom Watts - RPI Media

    We have been very impressed with the speedy and professional response we have had since joining your scheme. We have found the contacts we speak to be more than helpful and very pleasant in their manner.

    Anne Jackson - Hamburg Süd

    We have been with the Bike 2 Work Scheme for over a year and have a good number of our staff obtaining bikes through the scheme. Bike 2 Work offer a high level of service and are efficient in getting the contracts and vouchers sent out. Emails sent regarding questions or queries are always responded to speedily and the Bike 2 Work employers are very knowledgeable on the scheme.

    Wendy Peaks - Expeditors

    ALDI would recommend Bike 2 Work Scheme to any employer. We have found the service provided by the team at Bike 2 Work Scheme to be professional, speedy and friendly. A number of our staff have already purchased bikes through the scheme since our registration 5 months ago, and we predict many more will take advantage of this salary sacrifice in the upcoming months

    Kez Ruffles

    A number of my team had been suggesting they were keen to get on their bike, get fit and try to get out of using public transport and mentioned the Bike2Work scheme. I contacted the team at Bike2Work and they made it very simple for Bright Purple to get engaged, explaining everything required of us to get going. As a company we are keen to support green issues and want to do our bit for the environment, so getting the team on 2 wheels is a good start. Thank you Bike2Work - great idea.

    Nick Price

    Bike 2 work scheme has proved to be very popular with our employees. The administration is first class and any queries are resolved promptly. We believe the scheme will be of great benefit to our employees in saving money and improving fitness, whilst being in full accordance with Legrand's environmental policy.

    Peter Bedall

    I was given the task of getting our company Abbey Logistics Group on the Bike 2 Work Scheme, I looked around and researched a number of schemes but thought that the Bike 2 Work Scheme was the best. I still feel I made the correct choice for a number of reasons. The amount of partner shops I found was fantastic and the speedy response from the scheme is second to none just to name a couple. May I take a moment to say a big thank you to the Bike 2 Work Scheme for helping our company to a greener future.

    Alan Sutton