The smart way to travel
Finding time in the day to get the recommended 30 minutes or more of physical activity isn’t always easy. That's where active commuting comes in very handy!
By walking or cycling to and/or from work daily exercise can be ticked off the 'To-Do' list. No expensive gym memberships, finding extra time in the day to exercise and no sitting in traffic jams.
Statistics by McCrindle Research show that over 10 million Australians commute to work every day and 65.5% of them do so by private car. Cycling doesn’t make it into the top five, although walking is in third spot albeit with low numbers compared to car use.
Given the benefits to both individuals and employers, it’s surprising that more workplaces aren’t considering promoting active commuting for their workplaces. For individuals, walking or cycling in the mornings helps to increase levels of alertness and energy throughout the day.
The benefits to employers are considerable. According to the Department of Transport’s TravelSmart Workplaces, employers who encourage their workers to be active can expect a reduction in absenteeism, presenteeism and injury rates. They can also expect increased productivity, engagement and motivation, better staff retention and morale and an enhanced corporate image and reputation. A lot of benefit for a small investment.
There is no doubt that some investment is required to make active commuting an attractive prospect to workers. The right facilities like secure bike storage, a locker for toiletries and work clothes and a shower are vital. The support of senior management in the form of a health and wellbeing policy can allow 15 minutes of work time to get ready helping to create a culture where employees feel supported. Onsite training sessions on things like bike maintenance and road safety can also help to build skills and confidence.
Without a doubt life is complicated and the thought of stepping out of the cosy bubble of cars and changing our travel habits can be daunting, but with some planning most of us can fit active commuting into our work week. Start small (maybe one day a week or getting to and from meetings) and you may find you love it so much you’ll want to do it every day!
Bike Week 2017 takes place from Friday, March 17 to Sunday, March 26. Encourage your workplace to get involved in the many activities planned.
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