More than three-quarters (85%) of bikes-for-work scheme users have noticed an improvement in their health since taking up the scheme, according to research by the Cycle to Work Alliance.
The healthy commute research, which surveyed more than 18,000 employees who use the scheme and 700 employers that offer bikes for work, found that respondents have noticed improvements in health, increased fitness levels, increased lung capacity and a reduction in stress since participating a bikes-for-work scheme through their employer.
Nearly nine in 10 (89%) respondents cited staying fit as the most important consideration for taking part in the scheme.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents would not have bought a bike if it had not been available through the tax-efficient scheme.
The research also found that 97% of employer respondents said the bikes-for-work scheme is important for encouraging a healthy workforce.
Mark Brown, head of business-to-business services at Evans Cycles and a member of the Cycle to Work Alliance, said: “This new research helps to quantify this benefit, and shows that both employers and employees are noticing its positive impact.
“Importantly, it also shows how the scheme is having a tangible impact on health budgets.
“With the NHS facing constrained finances as the population ages, the bikes-for-work scheme is one of the few policy levers that is helping the health service alleviate this pressure.”
Jane Ellison, minister for public health, added: “The majority of participants in a bikes-for-work scheme, including employers, recognise the benefits of keeping fit, and that many participants have noticed improvements to their health since joining.”