Cycling makes you a better worker

Great article, followed by ignorant comments a-plenty. :-p

CYCLING to work could make you better at your job, a health expert has claimed.

Stockport-based Nick [Cavill], who works for transport body Cycling England, has carried out a study for the World Health Organisation into the benefits of commuting by bike.

Fitter, healthier, fewer days of absence, lower stress – the pretty obvious stuff. Interestingly however…

As part of his work with the United Nations agency, the health promotion consultant helped create a new computer programme which allows local councils to work out the health costs of building new cycle routes.

“It basically shows you how the life expectancy and health of people will be improved by any particular route and will calculate the saving to the health service.

“The point is that the health benefits from cycling are so substantial that they should generally outweigh the costs of establishing a new route.”

Fantastic, of course. And the kind of article that should be passed on to your HR department as a matter of urgency.

But then come comments such as:

I will not have pro-cyclist, environmentalist Nazis telling me what I should be doing.

That kind of comment I’ve noticed usually comes from the type who doesn’t cope well with the law telling him what to do either.

And some people have simply not taken an easy spin round the neighbourhood on a bike in a long, long time:

The last thing I need after a full day’s work is to fight against strong headwinds or hills, or get a soaking. It is not something I would wish to combine with my working life in a million years.

It makes me tired just thinking about riding a bike these days.

It saddens me that there are still people like this out there. Wedded to an out-dated – if not largely made-up – notion of bicycles as sports equipment.

Has exercise really been so built out of modern Anglo-American lives that anything that does you good in daily life must be labelled ‘exercise’?

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4 thoughts on “Cycling makes you a better worker

  1. I told my boss about this recently; particularly the fact that cyclists take fewer sick days. He, being of the standard bike-phobic Brit persuasion, scoffed mercilessly. Unfortunately for him, the date I last took a day off work ill is, for some reason, indelibly imprinted in my memory.

    2001.

    September.

    11th.

  2. Blimey, I feel like applauding!

    In my case, as well as keeping me healthy (something one only appreciates after a week or so of inactivity), day-to-day cycling seems to have instilled in me an attitude of ‘Weather be damned, I’m going by bike today!’ and that reflects in my attitude to my work: a little illness won’t stop me.

    My last sick day? Mid-April 2003. I was ‘between bikes’ at the time.

    • They are professional sportspeople. Which is kinda beside the point for what we’re saying here: getting around town by bicycle keeps you fit on an easy day-to-day basis, which makes you less prone to sickness and absenteeism.

      (Professional sports stars are under pressure to train very hard for long hours. In short, they tend to overdo it, which can also have negative health effects.)

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