Employers could substantially reduce the number of days lost to sickness absence each year by taking steps to bridge the “UK bike commuting gap”, analysis by Edenred finds.
Currently around 2.25m UK employees are regular cyclists but do not cycle to work. By encouraging just one third of these cyclists to commute fully or partially to work, employers have the potential to save around one million lost days of sickness absence each year, according to the findings.
As a result, the number of regular bike-commuters would be doubled, which was identified in the most recent census as almost three-quarters of a million or 5.6% of UK workers.
Edenred sales and marketing director Andy Philpott explained that cycle to work was an area where "everyone gains" so it made good business sense for all organisations to encourage employees to commute by bike.
Just over half (54%) of users to cycle to work schemes are usually new to bike commuting meaning that the 88,731 new users who joined cycle to work schemes in 2013 would save an average of 115,350 days of sickness this year.
"Employers benefit from the improved business performance, which goes hand-in-hand with a healthier more resilient workforce who take less time off sick each year," Philpott added.
"Employees also benefit - they stand to save money, substantially reduce the risk of heart disease or obesity and improve their quality of life."
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