Cycle to Work Day, the annual event encouraging workers across the UK to take to two wheels for their commute, will celebrate its 5th anniversary this September 13th. The event invites employers as well as individuals to sign up and reap the benefits of active commuting—among them, increased workplace productivity, lower rates of sick leave, and improved wellbeing.
Established by Cyclescheme, a leading UK provider of a cycle to work scheme, Cycle to Work Day is free for all participants. Employers of all sizes across the UK with or without a cycle to work scheme in place can get behind the event. This year’s Cycle to Work Day is on track to reach its goal of one million miles pledged, and participating cyclists have the opportunity to win from a prize pot worth over £5,000.
Research from Cyclescheme shows that cycling to work can have benefits for the workplace, with 45% of the surveyed employees who cycle experiencing less stress at work, and 47% citing improvements to mental wellbeing. In addition, commuters who regularly cycle can suffer less from illness and take fewer sick days and can save the economy an estimated £83 million each year, according to a publication from Cycling UK.
Cyclescheme’s research also found that among the UK employers surveyed, 65% cite a healthier workforce as a high priority. Additionally, over the past four years, the rates of employer engagement with Cycle to Work Day have risen substantially, with numbers doubling between 2014 and 2015, according to the study. In 2016, more than 1,000 employers signed up to support their staff in the event.
Similarly, individual engagement has significantly increased since the event began in 2013, with a total of 115,702 cyclists pledging to cycle over 1.5 million miles. 2016 was the most successful year to date, with more than 45,000 cyclists pledging 675,545 miles—the equivalent of completing 27 circuits around the globe or over 165 Tour de France races.
Cycle to Work Day was created by Cyclescheme in 2013 to encourage cyclists of all abilities to give cycle commuting a try. In 2016, Halfords came on board as an official partner and is now jointly promoting the event. In addition, Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman MBE has been an ambassador of Cycle to Work Day since 2016, and joins again this year.
Adrian Warren, Business Operations Director at Cyclescheme, says: “Our experience over the last five years has demonstrated to us first-hand the impressive benefits that employers feel when they have a workforce with an active commute. We’re proud to give first time cyclists and seasoned cycling commuters alike the chance to engage with us each year.
“We urge all employers—from the big to the small—to sign up to Cycle to Work Day 2017 and see what difference it could make to your workplace.”