The benefits of an ‘active commute’ have long been pedalled (pun intended) by medical experts, including the latest research released this year in the British Medical Journal led by the University of Glasgow.
Researchers followed over a quarter of a million commuters over five years and found those who ‘actively commute’ to work (by cycling, or walking, or a mix of both) have lower risks of developing heart disease or developing cancer. However, for many people with longer distances to travel, difficult terrain such as hills or off-road tracks to tackle, or for those who simply worry about arriving at work feeling sweaty or worn out, cycling may not seem a viable option.
An easier commute
Frustrated commuters will be pleased to hear that e-bikes are changing things. The pedal-assist bicycles offer all the health benefits of a regular bike, but help by providing additional momentum, with a small motor – which can assist up to speeds of 15.5mph. This means you can experience all the joys of exercising on your daily commute, but with increased support, your cycle to-and-from work will be faster and easier than on a regular bike. Plus, you gain the added benefits of saving on travel costs, doing your bit for the environment and gaining the ability to explore your local area, no you no longer are constrained behind the windows of a train, bus or car.
Electric bikes have more benefits, beyond fitness, longer life and cost savings. Hopping on your bike, or e-bike to travel to-and-from work, can significantly improve your working day, help to boost mood, focus and productivity. Read on to find out more about how commuting on an e-bike can positively impact your working day.
1. Time and space for you
Starting and ending your day stuck in traffic or wedged onto a tightly packed train can be stifling, with commuters often left feeling rushed or overwhelmed before even arriving at the workplace. Cycling provides the opportunity to enjoy some fresh air, space and time to think before you start your working day. The journey home offers time to reflect on the day and wind down.
If you find yourself starting or ending the working day feeling stressed, it could be that you need to give yourself some fresh air and space to reconnect with yourself and the world outside of the office. Consider your cycling commute as a form of daily meditation. With an e-bike, you’ll be able to focus on yourself and your mind rather than the strain of a tough cycle.
2. Battling work stresses
There are several reasons that stress could build up throughout the working day, whether that’s frustrating clients, annoying colleagues, pressure from your boss or simply the strain of the job at hand. When we get, angry or stressed, our bodies release the cortisol hormone, kicking in the fight or flight mechanism in our brain and keeping our bodies on high alert until the problem is resolved. If you’re adding to the usual daily frustrations with the dread of a stressful commute, you’re just prolonging these symptoms and putting your body under increased duress, which can, in turn, lead to illness and mental strain.
Physical activity, even just mild exercise, is considered one of the best ways to reduce stress. By getting the body moving and the blood pumping, positive chemicals are released in the body, replacing the cortisol that is so primed throughout the working day. Using an e-bike for commuting will help you get to work quickly and efficiently without working up an uncomfortable sweat, it will also enable you to battle stress hormones by raising your heart rate. Plus, you’ll be bypassing the traffic jams and fraught train journeys that may plague your commute, helping you ease into work and unwind on the way home.
3. Boosts mood and increases job satisfaction
The stress-battling chemicals that are released when you raise your heart rate through exercise. They include serotonin, dopamine and endorphins, which help to improve mood, happiness levels and increase pleasure feelings in the brain. By heading into work by e-bike, you’ll not only be battling stress, you’ll also be increasing your good mood feeling. Carrying this through into your day can help improve your working life – perhaps this will help you get on better with your colleagues, have more patience with clients or customers, or the boosted mood will make you enjoy your job more than you do already.
4. Makes you better at your job
As you ease your way into the day with your e-bike commute, your heart rate raised, already battling stress and producing plenty of happy hormones, you’ll also be improving your alertness and, in turn, your productivity as well as your ability to learn. Exercises like cycling make you feel more alert than if you were sitting on an overheated train, or a stuffy car. The increased fitness also boosts your energy levels, meaning you’ll stay more alert throughout the day. This means you’ll be able to pay better attention, allowing you to work more effectively throughout the day. With the brain boost you’ll receive, you’ll be able to understand tasks clearly and remember more of what you’ve learned each day. That means you can be quicker to improve your skills, as well as doing your job to the best of your ability.
5. Keeps you healthier
Do you find you’re always catching coughs and colds that float around the office? Raised stress levels and inactivity can lead to a fall in your immune system, so you’re more likely to pick up all the ailments being passed around by your colleagues and customers. This doesn’t just affect your working day, but spills over into your evenings and weekends too, meaning you’re being restricted in your downtime. However, by battling stress and keeping fitter on your daily commute, you’re strengthening your immune system and improving your ability to keep yourself healthy. A healthier you mean a more happy, productive and well-rounded working day, and it’s only natural that this will have a positive as an effect on your weekend.
Make the change today
With all these incredible benefits, could it be time to hang up your car keys or cancel your season ticket? There’s no better time to start than now, to find out more about e bikes, take a look at our e bike hub.