Cycling to work can improve the health and wellbeing of employees whilst contributing to higher productivity levels, new research has found.
Weight loss, reduced stress levels and the overall good health of employees have all been shown to be the result of cycle to work schemes, according to the Cycle to Work Alliance, comprised of scheme providers such as Evans Cycles and Halfords.
Their research, which revealed that cycling to work can help improve productivity levels according to 60 per cent of respondents who said they noticed an improvement in their productivity, also found that 86 per cent of employees said the scheme had health benefits. Cycling to work was also thought to play a key role in staff engagement levels, too.
According to Charles Alberts, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits, cycle-to-work schemes are also a popular way for employers to offer a tax-efficient wellbeing benefit. However, he warned that cycling to work may not always be practical for all employees, nor would it necessarily appeal to the whole workforce:
"This benefit is ideally offered alongside a variety of others which help to increase physical activity, including discounted or subsidised health club membership, onsite fitness classes, charity sporting events and intra-company challenges using fitness trackers for instance," he recommended.
Commenting on the research findings, Steve Edgell, Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance and Managing Director of Cycle Solutions, said cycle to work schemes make a 'big contribution' to health and wellbeing by making physical activity an 'integral part' of people's lifestyles.
"As well as supporting the objectives of businesses, it is clear that the cycle to work scheme is a key mechanism for delivering on the Government's public health objectives and its specific aim to double the number of journeys made by bicycle," he said.
Alberts added: "In addition to improving the health and productivity of UK plc, Cycling to work can also contribute to employers' green credentials. Whilst not without its administrative considerations, we believe there is a vested interest for employers to encourage greater engagement with this benefit in the context of an overall health and wellbeing strategy."
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