Keep calm and cycle to work

Research from Stanford University has found that those who cycle to work are 40% less likely to be stressed during and after their commute to work when compared with those who drove or took public transport.

A sample of 1,000 commuters were found to arrive at work in a calmer, more relaxed state of mind. Stanford University’s Calming Technology Lab used wearable technology to measure heart rate and length and depth of breaths of participants over the course of 20,000 commuters.

The head of Calming Technology Lab, Neema Moraveji said, “It’s particularly interesting to see that many people don’t transition back into the home after a long day of work very well. By biking to work we know that the physical nature of cycling and physical exertion will engender a more calm and focused state of mind. So while being good for us physically, we also see lots of psychological and emotional benefits.”

The findings mirror similar studies carried out in the UK. A 10-year study conducted by the University of East Anglia and University of York discovered cycling or walking to work not only made people less stressed but also more productive.

Commenting on the findings Will Herman, head of Pelican’s outdoor and leisure PR team said: ‘These are interesting findings. Obviously the endorphins released from exercise and being outside are likely to cause a positive effect on your physical and mental well-being. However, one might think the stress caused by being a vulnerable cyclist surrounded by cars and lorries would negate some of these positive effects.

‘This doesn’t appear to be the case and the positives of cycling to work appear to provide mental, physical and productivity benefits. Members of the Pelican team who cycle in said their experience of cycling to work compared with driving matched those in the findings of the Stanford report and the UK studies.’

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