Researchers from Concordia University in Montreal have been comparing different modes of travel taken during peoples commute to work and has yielded some not so surprising but positive results for cycling. For the large majority of us the trip into work isn’t in our top 5 moments of the day, maybe somewhere closer to washing the dishes or that moment when Netflix asks if you’re still watching.
However, turns out that those who choose to cycle to work are giving themselves they best chance to have good day. Stephane Brutus, the lead author of the study said, “Employees who cycled to work showed significantly lower levels of stress within the first 45 minutes of work than those who travelled by car.” Interestingly, the study only assessed respondents who had completed the form within 45 mins of arriving at work and was one of its major innovations. “Recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect later in the day,” he explains. “They can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day.”
Researchers pointed to a gap in studies which compares the levels of stress between cyclists, drivers and users of public transport. It certainly adds a degree of academic influence to the already burgeoning discussion of how cycling can benefit our health and well-being in so many ways. “There is potential for public policy makers to seize on this,” adds Brutus. “With growing concerns about traffic congestion and pollution, governments are increasingly promoting non-motorised alternative modes of transport, such as walking and cycling. I can only hope that further studies will follow our lead and develop more precise and deliberate research into this phenomenon.”
From a Bike Town perspective the project will continue to work with partnership organisations to develop easier access for individuals and businesses alike to increase accessibility in cycling to work. We also encourage anyone to come along to our Guided or Social Rides, where ride leaders and volunteers take participants on relaxed rides with a go at your own pace.