Lifestyle: Walk or Bike to Work

Bicycle by desk and businessman using laptop

In recent years, alternative modes of transportation have become more and more popular with commuters. Employers are being encouraged to promote sustainable, healthy, and cost effective transport choices for their workforce, including biking, walking, taking public transport, or ride-sharing. But two of these options stand out above the rest; both biking and walking allow commuters to get their allotment of daily physical activity. As surprising as it sounds, biking and walking to work are options that can actually benefit not only employees, but also their employers.

Advantages to Employees

Employees who walk or bike to work are making a choice that comes with a few major advantages. If the distance is reasonable, those who bike or walk to work are getting valuable exercise. If you think about it, it hardly makes sense to spend time in your car getting to and from work when you could bike there and save time on going to the gym later. Moreover, it’s a great way to lose weight and stay fit. Studies have shown that cyclists lose approximately 13 pounds in their first year of commuting by bicycle. Although there are certainly some limitations that come along with these modes of transportation, it should be possible for most people to bike or walk at least one or two days per week.

One of the other advantages for those who choose to bike or walk to work are the cost of traveling. Car maintenance and fuel costs can add up, even if you don’t have to travel far. AAA estimates that people who own cars spend approximately $8,946 per year on costs, not including fuel. In addition to that, people who drive find themselves subject to the whims of traffic, whereas bikers don’t have to deal with that headache. It makes for less stress and an easier morning ride.

Advantages to Employers

You might wonder whether employers can benefit from encouraging their workforce to cycle. But cycling and walking can actually can benefit the employer, too. When employees bike or walk to work, they are making some effort to stay in shape. They are less likely to have weight problems or experience the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle later on in life, such as heart disease or stroke. And according to a study conducted in the Netherlands, people who biked to work were even found to be less likely to fall ill due to the common cold or flu. That means higher productivity and less time off work for health issues. For employers, that’s a big deal as it means greater revenue and fewer losses.

There are a few other ways that employers can benefit. When workers get daily physical exercise, they’re more likely to experience side effects such as an uplifted mood and increased energy, both of which lead to increased productivity. As an employer, you also get the added benefit of not having to provide parking for quite as many cars. And although it might seem as though encouraging cycling and walking comes at a cost, there are actually tax benefits for employers who choose to go “green” by promoting these sustainable transportation options.

Pros & Cons

When looking at possible job opportunities it is always a good idea to write down a pros and cons list. This can help you to determine what aspects of the job you might like and what aspects you may want to change.

Some important job aspects to consider include possible travel, team outings, casual attire, flexible hours, working from home and more.

Workplace Culture

A workplace culture can have a big impact on your everyday life. If you enjoy work you will be more likely to perform better and stay interested in the tasks at hand.

Some of the ways that companies today are helping to foster a positive work environment is to allow employees access to free food and drink, showers, gym memberships, nap areas and gaming rooms.