On yer bike – it’ll make you a happier worker
Willow Aliento | 11 October 2016
Reducing personal carbon emissions is not the only benefit of jumping on a bike to get to work. Recent research by Bicycle Network and Reid Cycles shows you’ll also probably arrive at work happier, more energised and ready to be more productive.
The Great Australian Commuter Experiment surveyed 4500 Australian commuters from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide.
Commuters were asked to compare the costs, time and general feeling of using either their car, public transport or a bike to get to work.
The researchers found that only 12 per cent of people driving to work and only 15 per cent of public transport users arrived at work feeling positive and focused. In every city except for Canberra, more than 80 per cent of people that either drove or caught public transport said they arrived at work feeling tired.
By comparison, cyclists reported an overall 88 per cent satisfaction rating. Canberra had the highest proportion reporting they arrived at work feeling optimistic, motivated and energised, followed closely by Perth commuters.
The results also showed that riding a bike every day is the most economical choice, with annual costs averaging $72 a year for bike maintenance. By comparison, public transport users average $1286 a year for fares, and drivers fork out an average of over $2600 a year for fuel and parking.
Brisbane had the highest daily public transport costs, and Melbourne the highest costs for drivers.
In terms of time, commuting by car turned out to be the quickest, with people averaging a 25-minute drive for a 14 kilometre trip, but cycling was only slightly slower, averaging 30 minutes for the same distance. Public transport took the longest time in every city except for Darwin.
Bicycle Network general manager of behaviour change Tess Allaway said the results showed riding your bike was the best way to get to work.
“Riding a bike to and from work is one of the best ways to save money, get fit and active, reduce stress, beat the traffic and even have a bit of fun along the way,” Ms Allaway said.
The research was released to coincide with national Ride2Work Day, happening on Wednesday.
Ms Allaway said that following last year’s event, nearly half of those who tried the commute by bike for the first time were now doing so every day.