Business in the Community

Cycling improves health

Employee health is of major concern and importance particularly as Britain has the highest obesity levels in Europe (source DoH). This comes at a high cost for the nation, for businesses and individuals.

• In 2010 26% of men and women aged 16 or over were classified as obese with 42% of men and 32% of women being overweight
• 1 in 6 people in England die before the age of 65 with 75% of those deaths being attributed to circulatory and respiratory diseases and cancers
• In the UK, the biggest single factor causing death is coronary heart disease – a problem exacerbated by low levels of exercise and poor diet

Cycling can help to improve health and prevent chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, dementia and cancer (BMA). The BMA in their Healthy Transport = Healthy Lives report calls on the Government, medical professionals and businesses all to take action to encourage active travel. Likewise this aspiration is shared the Department of Health. 

Regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person ten years younger

Source: National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation, Sharp

Cycling at least twenty miles a week reduces the risk of heart disease to less than half that for non-cyclists who take no other exercise

Source: British Heart Foundation, Morris

Encouraging cycling to work supports an organisation’s corporate sustainability strategy. Many businesses are already taking responsibility for their employees’ physical and psychological wellness with positive results. Business in the Community’s Workwell Campaign offers detailed guidance on how employers can do so however a highly effective start can be made by supporting and encouraging cycling in the workplace.

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