Cycling to work may seem like a pain to some, but it is rich with benefits that can drastically improve the quality of your life. By swapping your 4 wheels for 2, you have the potential to be healthier, happier, and a little bit richer. We have put together 12 reasons why you should cycle to work.
1) Cycling to work improves your physical health
Many of us state we would like to join a gym and get fitter but we don’t have the time. So why not use your daily commute to exercise? It is a journey that needs to be taken each day and so why not make the most of it and use that time to improve your physical wellbeing. Cycling is a great way to become physically fitter, as well as helping you lose weight. Just by riding at a steady pace, you are able to build up to your ‘fat-burning heart rate’ and start shedding calories.
2) Cycling to work improves your mental health
As well as benefiting your physical health, cycling daily will also benefit your mental health. Physical exercise increases endorphins which are produced by your central nervous system. These endorphins reduce pain and boost pleasure, leaving you feeling happier. It can also reduce stress, meaning if you have had a pretty stressful day at work, you don’t have to take that home with you. You can get rid of that stress whilst cycling home.
Cycling UK conducted a study in 2017 and found that “91% of people surveyed rate off-road cycling as fairly or very important for their mental health, and 90% for their physical health”.
3) Cycling to work helps the environment
Here in the UK, Cars make up 22% of CO2 emissions with the average car emitting roughly 271g CO2 per passenger-kilometre. Bikes give out zero CO2 emissions. By swapping your car for a bike, you are drastically reducing your carbon footprint and benefiting the planet.
Cycling to work with a Litelok
4) Cycling to work is great for your bank balance
According to research by Hawk Incentives, the average person spends £103.46 per month when commuting to work. “In cities such as London, Coventry and York, this average cost increases to £127.59, £194.33 and £149.58 a month respectively.” That is a big chunk of money already gone from your paycheck on just getting to work. By switching your car to a bike, you aren’t spending any money on petrol or parking.
You may be thinking, ‘Yes, but I’ll have to buy a bike and all the gear that goes along with it’. This doesn’t have to be expensive. If your employer joins the cycle to work scheme, you will be able to save 25 - 39% on a bike and accessories. You will pay nothing upfront and the payments are taken tax efficiently from your salary.
5) Cycling to work means not sitting in traffic jams
Driving through a city can be infuriating. Stopping every few seconds, waiting for a red light, surrounded by a sea of never-ending cars, the noise, the emission, and if there has been an accident on the road then just forget about it. It can be a really unpleasant experience. Cycling allows you to navigate through that mess, saving both time and the mental anguish that it causes. You can even plan your route effectively to take cycle lanes or country parks to reduce this even further.
6) Cycling to work means no more struggling to find a parking space
It can be really frustrating turning up to work nice and early, only to waste that time struggling to find somewhere to park your car. Public car parks can often be very expensive, and free street parking in cities is a treasured rarity. When you cycle, all you need is a good bike lock and you can secure your bike almost anywhere. We at Litelok have even released Twin Liteloks, allowing you to join two locks together to create a larger lock, allowing you to secure your bike to large street furniture such as lamp posts and telegraph poles. You can use them for double-length, or if you find a nice spot in a cycling rack, you can use the locks separately for double the security. Either way, it beats overpaying for parking.
Litelok Silver Flexi-U Twin joint together securing both wheels and frame
7) Cycling to work makes you smarter
Believe it or not, exercise doesn’t just benefit your muscles, it benefits your brain as well. It is proven that daily exercise improves your overall brain performance, as well as sharpen your memory, and prevent cognitive decline.
8) Cycling to work allows you to experience nature
Cycling to work allows you to plan your route and go places you wouldn’t be able to in a car. You could perhaps cycle through a park or a nature trail. Even in dense cities, you should still be able to find some form of greenery to brighten your day. It is a lot better than driving down the same congested road every day.
9) Cycling to work allows you to get a good night's sleep
It has been scientifically proven that regular exercise has a positive effect on your sleep. Sometimes if you have a lot on your mind during the day, this can carry on over past your bedtime, causing you to wake up several times during the night or even struggle to get to sleep in the first place. Exercise can help get you a good night sleep, meaning you will feel a lot better each and every day.
10) Cycling to work helps create better cIty infrastructure
This one is really interesting and important to the future development of city infrastructure. Urban planners will look at anonymous data created by fitness tracking apps to help improve city planning. If they see that a particular road is used a lot by cyclists, then they can look at improving the quality and safety to benefit those who use it.
Cycling through London
11) Cycling to work is a good excuse to eat more
Everyone loves a little office snack. If you cycle, you may not have to put fuel in your car, but you still need to make sure you've put fuel in your body. Basically, you need to eat. So you can have your mid-morning snack guilt-free as you can chalk it down to just refuelling your body.
12) Cycling to work is fun
Cycling is fun. Cycling can be liberating. It gives you an unchallenged sense of freedom. All the other reasons on this list are good, but ultimately they all lead to making you happy, healthy, and free and that is what’s most important in life. Don’t sit in a traffic jam, or squash yourself on to public transport. Get on your bike and make your commute count. Have fun.
Brompton World Championship - Train while you commute.
To ensure your bike's safety whilst commuting, read our '8 Tips to protect your bike from theft' article. It'll tell you the best ways of keeping your bike safe whilst you are at work.