I have recently been inspired to buy a bicycle and start livening up the daily commute by bike riding to and from work. I have been overwhelmed by the myriad of benefits cycling has already elicited and wanted to do further research into the advantages of bike riding to work for me, my community, the economy and the environment. Here are 11 reasons to join the trend and start bike riding to work yourself.

1. Get Fitter and Leaner

Bike riding is easily one of the most effective and beneficial forms of exercise to help you get fit and lose weight. Research has found that steady cycling burns about 1,200 kilojoules (300 calories) per hour. Cycling uses all of the major muscle groups so it is a fantastic muscle workout. It is also ideal for improving stamina, strength and aerobic fitness. Bike riding is also very low impact, which means it causes less strain and fewer injuries than other forms of exercise. Ultimately, cycling raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat, all of which are ideal for obesity and weight control.

2. Reduce Your Chance of Disease

Bike riding has been shown to reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.By stimulating your heart, lungs and circulation, regular cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers your resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels, all of which reduces your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack.

Academic research in Finland has discovered that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with a lack of physical activity.

Studies have shown a correlation between regular cycling and lower risks of contracting bowel or breast cancer. Bike riding is also beneficial as it lowers one’s chances of catching cold’s or flu’s on public transport.

bike ride to work3. Improve Bone Strength

Cycling is also known to your chance of fractures, particularly in women, as a group of Swedish researchers ascertained. Because it is low impact and doesn’t place stress on joints, it could also reduce your risk of osteoarthritis.

4. Reduce your carbon footprint

This is quite an obvious benefit of cycling but is an incredibly important one. As opposed to driving a car or riding buses or trains, bike riding uses no greenhouse gases and is therefore much more environmentally friendly.

5. Save Money

Another huge advantage of cycling to and from work everyday is the economic benefits. Bike riding helps you save money on petrol, public transport, parking and even gym memberships.

6. Save Time

Bike riding is very time effective as it allows you to bypass congestion or traffic jams and you can travel quickly on downhill sections. In fact in my usual commute to work it is actually 10 minutes quicker than travelling via public transport.

7. Feel Happier and Live Longer

Regular bike riding has been proven to reduce your risks of mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety. This is on account of the positive effects of exercise as well as the happiness associated with getting outside and and the freeness and cycling. This stress reduction has also been shown to help you live longer.

bike ride to work28. Save on Healthcare Expenses

Opting to bike ride doesn’t just help you and the environment, it can also benefit your entire local community. Cycling can be seen as an investment into the biking culture that could save millions in healthcare expenses. A recent study by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health in the United States found that “during the next 30 years, Portland’s residents could save as much as $594 million in health care costs because of an investment into biking culture” and “fuel savings of $143 to $218 million.”

9. Make Cycling Safer for Everyone

The more people that cycle, the safer cycling becomes. Not only will local government make cycling infrastructure more of a priority (which let’s face it, most Australian cities are in need of) but the more bikes there are on the road, the lower the chance of injury by traffic incidents. A UNSW study from 2008 showed that increases in cycling participation are accompanied by lowered chances of colliding with a motor vehicle.

10. Boost the Economy

In the 2012 Bicycle Account of the biking city, Copenhagen, authorities reported that commuters generated savings of about $0.42 USD for every mile biked for the economy. Cycling generates savings in lowered transportation costs, security, branding/tourism, traffic infrastructure and public health.

11. Improve Productivity at Work

Exercise has been shown to drastically improve productivity. By kickstarting the day with a refreshing ride, you can get the blood flowing and allow yourself to concentrate more easily once in the office. A Dutch economic think tank TNO also found that people who commuted to work by bike were less likely to call in sick.

The evidence is there, so grab yourself a bicycle and start reaping the benefits of bike riding to work now!


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