The average UK worker will spend over a year of their life commuting to and from work – and it’s taking its toll. The statistic comes from Merlin Cycles, which found that today’s average commute is 56 minutes a day, and so the brand is reminding how cycling can help alleviate the three key side effects of commuting, which are stress, lack of exercise, and expense.
- STRESS: A study from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) revealed that over half of respondents said that commuting increased their stress levels. As with any form of cardiovascular exercise, cycling directly counters the effects of stress. Even on your first ride, that pedal power gets you pumping more oxygen into your bloodstream. When all that extra oxygen reaches your brain, it encourages the release of endorphins – the ‘happiness’ hormone.
- LACK OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: In the RSPH study, more than 40 per cent of respondents said that their commute to work decreases the time they spend being physically active. Cycling is a fairly obvious solution to the problem of the sedentary commute. If the average commuter spent the same amount of time cycling as they currently do commuting, they would burn 560 calories a day – that’s 2,800 calories a week!
- EXPENSES: Total Jobs found that the average person spends £146 a month commuting to and from work. That’s over £1,750 a year. One thing that puts people off cycling to work is the fact that they don’t want to make that first purchase – the bike itself. But when you put things into perspective, buying a bike costs very little in the long run. In the course of your first year cycling to work, you could save as much as £1,500 on travel costs alone. You could save even more by taking part in a Cycle to Work scheme, such as through Merlin Cycles, which lets you get a bike for commuting tax free.