Cycling improves health
Employee health is of major concern and importance particularly as Britain has the highest obesity levels in Europe (source DoH). This comes at a high cost for the nation, for businesses and individuals.
• In 2010 26% of men and women aged 16 or over were classified as obese with 42% of men and 32% of women being overweight
• 1 in 6 people in England die before the age of 65 with 75% of those deaths being attributed to circulatory and respiratory diseases and cancers
• In the UK, the biggest single factor causing death is coronary heart disease – a problem exacerbated by low levels of exercise and poor diet
Cycling can help to improve health and prevent chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, dementia and cancer (BMA). The BMA in their Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives report calls on the Government, medical professionals and businesses all to take action to encourage active travel. Likewise this aspiration is shared the Department of Health.
Regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person ten years younger
Cycling at least twenty miles a week reduces the risk of heart disease to less than half that for non-cyclists who take no other exercise
Encouraging cycling to work supports an organisation’s corporate sustainability strategy. Many businesses are already taking responsibility for their employees’ physical and psychological wellness with positive results. Business in the Community’s Workwell Campaign offers detailed guidance on how employers can do so however a highly effective start can be made by supporting and encouraging cycling in the workplace.
Cycling to work is associated with less all-cause sickness absence. Mean absenteeism in cyclists is significantly lower than in non-cyclists with a significant relationship between frequent cycling and absenteeism, with regular cyclists taking 7.4 sick days per annum, compared to 8.7 sick days for non-cyclists.
The British Cycling Economy - Sky / British Cycling
BMA encourages Government, local authorities, medical professionals and businesses all to work together to encourage cycling.