Five Steps To Encourage Active Commuting

Only 3% of the American workforce commutes to work by bike or on foot with any frequency, despite many clear benefits.

Courtesy of CCL Wetrooms

A link between cycling and health benefits has been clear for some years. Studies show that mortality rates are 30% lower in cyclists compared with non-cyclists.

Further studies have consistently reported lower rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and mortality associated with cycling compared with not cycling. Diabetes costs Americans millions of dollars every year, and while not everyone is inclined to embrace sports or regular exercise, the switch to an active commute can save lives.

active commuting
(Photo: Mailchimp)

For businesses, the benefits of a healthier workforce include increased productivity, morale, and ultimately, profit.

Bicycle commuting has grown more than 60% nationwide since 2000, according a U.S. Census report. Startups are attracting up and coming talent with cycle programs that appeal to a more environmentally conscious workforce.

Mailchimp, a successful email marketing company, is so committed to its bike share program that it developed an app to help its staff better organize their allocation of cycles and parking spaces. But businesses don’t need to go to such lengths to encourage staff to adopt an active commuting lifestyle.

Here are five ways to promote active commuting at your facility:

1. Offer Employee Benefits

Whether it’s a bike purchase program or a mileage allowance, there are many ways you can incentivize employees to cycle for your mutual benefit.

Make sure that any benefits are widely advertised and readily available. It’s all very well having a policy, but it’s no good if no one is taking advantage of it.

2. Provide The Wheels
A fleet of bikes, allowing employees to book one out for meetings and errands is a good way of building up a cycling culture at a workplace.

It offers staff an efficient, cost effective and convenient transport option, especially for local meetings, travel between sites, or lunchtime errands. You’d be surprised how far you can go during a lunch break if you have a bike at your disposal.

3. Make It Part Of Your Corporate Culture
Cycling can form a part of your larger corporate culture. If the idea of being a “green” business appeals to you, consider a cycling scheme in addition to recycling, charity work, etc. The more “normal” living a greener life feels, the more naturally your staff will take to activities such as cycling.

4. Showers, Lockers, And Drying Facilities
Showers help make some people much happier about cycling to work, especially during good weather. Many workplaces already offer showering facilities for their workforce in general, as they benefit people who jog, or go to the gym during their lunch breaks.

Lockers are useful for storing cycling gear during work hours. When it’s rainy, having somewhere to dry wet clothes is also helpful. Even small businesses can achieve this with enough cupboard space and a decent dehumidifier.

5. Cycle parking
Secure and convenient cycle parking at workplaces makes all the difference – and accommodating several cycles is much less costly than providing space for just one car.

Ideally, cycle parking should be near the premises, easy to reach, protected from the elements, secure, and well designed. If there is nowhere outside to build a shelter, there may be somewhere indoors that could be converted into lockable bike storage.

This article was produced in collaboration with CCL Wetrooms, the UK’s leading wetroom supplier, offering a range of innovative products designed to create stylish contemporary wetrooms.