Feeling stressed? Cycle to work

26 June 2017

Cycling to work can help reduce stress and improve work performance.

Cycling to work can help reduce stress and improve work performance, research shows.

Academics from Canada's John Molson School of Business have compared how different modes of commuting - cycling, driving a car and taking public transport - affect stress and mood at work.

Collecting data from 123 employees at a company in Montreal, researchers assessed employees' stress and mood within the first hour of their arrival at work and found that those who cycled to be the most relaxed.

Read more: How to handle kids’ stress and anxiety

"Employees who cycled to work showed significantly lower levels of stress within the first 45 minutes of work than those who travelled by car," said study co-author Stephane Brutus.

The study did not, however, find any difference in the effect on mood.

Brutus added that surveying participants when they first arrived at the office were beneficial as recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect later in the day.

Read more: Daily vegetables can lower your stress levels

"They can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day," he explained.

Cycling has been shown to be a relatively inexpensive mode of transportation and a good form of physical activity. Accordingly, the researchers point out that there is room for public policy makers to seize on the health as well as environmental benefits of promoting cycling.

"With growing concerns about traffic congestion and pollution, governments are increasingly promoting non-motorized alternative modes of transport, such as walking and cycling. I can only hope that further studies will follow our lead and develop more precise and deliberate research into this phenomenon," added Brutus.

The study was published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

© Cover Media

Find Love!