Cycling to work could halve sick days

Cycling to work could halve the number of sick days taken by UK employees and provide a £13.7 billion annual boost to UK business, according to a report by Sustrans.

The report has been launched in tandem with the charity’s Support Cycling to Work campaign.

It calls on government to recognise the economic value and health benefits of cycling to work by setting a minimum standard of facilities and support that workplaces should provide for employees who commute by bike.

These facilities and support include:

  • Adequate showers and bike parking.
  • Access to bikes-to-work schemes.
  • Support in finding a safe route to work, such as maps and bike buddies.

Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive at Sustrans, said: “Employers that encourage cycling can increase their profitability and have employees who take fewer sickness days, but too many miss out on these benefits because they don’t provide decent facilities and support.

“Cycle parking and showers in an office should be as common as a printer and a coffee machine, and by introducing a ‘cycle-to-work standard’ governments would be taking the first steps to making this a reality.

“Making it safer, easier and more enjoyable for people to get to work by bike would unlock huge economic gains and health benefits for the UK.

“It’s time to make sure all our workplaces are fit for cycling.”