Discover how cycling regularly improves mental and physical health, and how easily it can slot into your daily routine by watching this informative video from our friends at Cyclescheme.

How exactly does cycling improve health?

We already know that cycling reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer – largely because cycling is great exercise. But did you know that cycling is also good for weight loss (which offers the roundabout benefit that when you weigh less, cycling becomes easier)?

Say hello to Tom, he cycles to work because:

"Cycle commuting gets to be my weekly exercise. I feel it improves my mental health, and generally I love riding a bicycle! I purchased this Trek from JE James Cycles early 2023 and it's going great!"

Say hello to Stacey, she cycles to work because:

"It really prepares me for my day ahead. I love the outdoors and the freedom it brings, cycling is a great way for me to get my exercise goals completed, whilst enjoying nature on route to work."

How good is cycling for weight loss?

The short answer is, “it depends”. There are simply too many variables at play. The distance and speed cycled, the intensity of the route (cycling uphill will understandably burn more calories than cycling on flat roads), and the weight of the cyclist themselves (heavier people use more energy to move, meaning they will typically burn more calories than someone who weighs less), all affect calories burned from cycling.

It’s safe to say then that when combined with a sensible diet, cycling can contribute in a big way to weight loss, and the health benefits that consequently brings.

Of course, the benefits of cycling to work go beyond the financial and physical – there are many mental health benefits to cycling, too.

Cycling and Mental Health

Millions of working days are lost each year through conditions like stress and anxiety, and the personal cost is even greater. It’s an issue that every employer has a moral obligation to take seriously. One thing that all employers should be doing is encouraging their staff to cycle to work – it can have a dramatic impact in improving mental wellbeing.

Say hello to Mille, she cycles to work because:

"I enjoy commuting to work by bike not only because of the health and environmental benefits but also because it's 3 X quicker than doing the same journey by car! "

Say hello to Dave, in his own words, he cycles to work because:

"I love it, it's the best way for me to fit in a hobby that can be time consuming with a young family. I can get cranky if I don't exercise i love the mental and physical benefits of cycling to work. Commuting by bike has enabled us as a family to get rid of a car reaping financial benefits as well as doing our bit to be more sustainable. "

Cycling makes us mentally sharper

Making regular journeys by bike is an easy way to live a more active lifestyle. Aside from making us physically fitter, a number of studies have shown that cycling can enhance brain function and make us sharper and more alert by speeding up connections in the brain. This could have the added benefit of helping us to be more efficient and productive when at work, in turn making it easier to leave on time and achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Cycling helps us to switch off

Whether we’re at work or at home, technology is a massive part of our lives that is undoubtedly a force for good. At the same time, studies have shown that too much time glued to our phones and laptops isn't great for our health – mental or physical - so getting the balance right and finding time to switch off is really important.

Cycling to work not only boosts physical fitness, it has the added bonus of helping us put away our phones and focus on the world around us, giving us much-needed time to reflect and make sense of all the things we’ve got going on day-to-day. There’s the extra bonus of more time spent outdoors too.

Say hello to Michael, he cycles to work because:

"I love my Brompton and being in the outdoors. I get a lot of relaxation from being on my bike before a full working day. I find cycling in this way helps my mental and physical health, and a bonus is I save money on other transport costs, and another car being on already busy roads."

Say hello to Andy, he cycles to work because:

"It's the freedom I need to start my day positively. The benefits of cycling to work are massive and are noticeable when it comes to how my working day pans out. More productivity, a more upbeat mood, that simple feeling of achievement you get from riding a bicycle to work can carry through your whole day. I'm addicted."

Cycling helps us to manage stress and anxiety

As a form of exercise, cycling helps us control the hormones responsible for stress, which can help us stay in better control of our emotions. With workplace stress and anxiety on the rise, boosting our ability to take control of them is critical for our long-term mental wellbeing. Cyclescheme data shows that almost half of those that cycle to work said that doing so improved their mental health, with two-fifths saying it has had a direct impact on lowering their workplace stress. Just think of the benefits for the UK workforce if every employee could fit a 45-minute cycle into their day?

Cycling makes us happier

Cycling makes our body release feel good hormones. When we cycle, we feel better – we can’t get away from it. When hormones like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins are released, stress and anxiety is reduced. Finding ways to be happier more often and for longer is especially important now, as an uncertain economic climate is taking its toll on employee morale across the UK.