The health benefits of cycling have increased once more as it's revealed that taking your bike to work halves the number of sick days.
Cycling to work could halve the number of sick days we take and provide a £13.7 billion annual boost to British business, according to new statistics released by charity Sustrans.
Absenteeism costs UK employers £258 per day, with the average worker taking 4.5 sick days each year compared to just 2.4 days taken by people who cycle.
Launching their Support Cycling to Work campaign today, Sustrans revealed that of the cyclists surveyed on the National Cycle Network, 68 per cent had taken no sick days in the last year.
Sustrans is calling on UK governments to recognise the economic value and health benefits of cycling to work by setting a minimum standard of facilities and support that workplaces should provide for those commuting by bike. This would include:
- adequate showers and bike parking
- access to bike purchase schemes
- support finding a safe route to work, such as maps and bike buddies
A government-endorsed ‘cycle-to-work standard’ would give businesses access to advice on how to make their workplace fit for cycling and provide a recognised standard for their success, helping to unlock the economic benefits of a healthy, active workforce.
Sustrans Chief Executive Malcolm Shepherd said:
“Employers who encourage cycling can increase their profitability and have employees who take fewer sick days, but too many miss out on these benefits because they don’t provide decent facilities and support.
“In separate research conducted by YouGov, 22 per cent of UK adults who commute to work, but not by bike, said they don’t cycle to work because their workplace doesn’t have the facilities they need.
“Cycle parking and showers in an office should be as common as a printer and a coffee machine and by introducing a ‘cycle-to-work standard’ governments would be taking the first steps to making this a reality.
“Making it safer, easier and more enjoyable for people to get to work by bike would unlock huge economic gains and health benefits for the UK. It’s time to make sure all our workplaces are fit for cycling.”
Everyone should be able to cycle to work – sign our petition to make Britain’s workplaces fit for cycling visit: www.sustrans.org.uk/cycletowork