Health Benefits of Biking to Work

Cycling to and from work is a great way to benefit both your health and the environment. The benefits of incorporating cycling into your daily routine include weight control, a healthy heart and a sharper mind, and reducing the carbon footprint. On a community level, the reduction in ill health and utilization of future medical services resulting from this activity is a positive step towards maintaining a sustainable health care system.” -Dr. Richard S. Stanwick, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), FAAP, Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Island Health Authority

There are MANY, MANY health benefits that people experience when the ride their bikes to work or school. We've listed a few below and then we thought we'd let our participants tell you about the benefits that they experience.

  • Increase your physical activity -> Convert scheduled commute time into time getting excercise on your way to-and-from work
  • Increased physical activity leads to lowered blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and many other risk factors contributing to chronic illness
  • Helps people lose weight
  • Improves mental clarity, feelings of self-worth and self-satisfaction, and overall mental health
  • Improves sleep quality
  • and more...

Our participants will tell you more about it:

“My job is incredibly hectic and stressful and consists of sitting at a computer all day. I was struggling with depression, anxiety and weight gain. I had trouble sleeping and in general felt like I was always operating under a cloud. One day I was faced with the decision of whether to repair my vehicle yet again, or take advantage of the BC Scrap it Program ( where you scrap your vehicle and get an incentive. One option was $400 towards a new bike. I opted to take the bike. My life changed. I started biking the 10km to work and home a few days a week. I found that on those days I was in a better mood and felt far less stressed. Then I noticed that I could sleep better when I biked to work. I started looking forward to mornings, the wind on my face, and being outdoors and active. I started setting challenges for myself like getting up a hill faster and beating my time. I used different routes and kept track of my progress. My days weren’t all consumed by work anymore. I had this other thing that I loved and could do every day. Now I bike everywhere. I bike to my appointments. I can’t wait for Monday when I can hop on my bike and face the morning and that hill with my helmet on and my head held high.” - Debra Cork, Langley

"Leaving my 40’s and moving into my 50’s I looked to biking as a good way to keep active and easily include physical activity into my life. I started biking 23km round trip, 2 to 3 times per week, to work in 2014 and participated in BTWW that year. Life interrupted the amount of times I was able to ride throughout that biking season, but I was determined to keep it up and ride again in 2015.
BTWW has been great as it was the catalyst to get me going and a goal to get back to after injuries. My morning rides are a great opportunity to plan my days and enjoy the beauty around me as I ride. Riding home in the afternoons is where I get the exercise benefit as I go 11.7km uphill to North Glenmore from Okanagan College campus where I work.I see myself riding for many years to come and have a few new goals to meet. I would suggest cycling to everyone as a way to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors. If I can do it, you can too!" -Carolyn Thesis, Kelowna

I have a hard time losing weight and when I walk my legs and ankles cause me so much pain, I just end up quitting and continue to gain weight. I started biking back in February and by the time May rolled around I had lost between 50 and 60 pounds. AND I did not change my eating habits… well kind of (I drank a heck of a lot more water). My stress level had gone down so much. My energy level was up and I felt GOOD!”  - Dawn C., Shaw Cable, Nanaimo

As a health practitioner, it is great to see an increase in the number of people taking part in Bike to Work Week. Making exercise part of our everyday routines is one of the best ways to ensure life-long wellness.”  - Amy Klepetar, Nursing Instructor, UNBC, Terrace

"Biking to Work: you are investing in more than just saving a few dollars in gas, the emissions, the fossil footprint, all the political jargon that is important, but, not as important as the investment in your health, your vitality, your energy. Your lungs, legs, heart, mind, will thank you… maybe not so much at first, but if you stick with it, you will find yourself embracing a whole new you! You will inspire others to begin this same journey of fitness – while encouraging other to keep those tires rolling, “slow and steady!” - June Carscadden, Atlas Information Management, Kamloops

I’ve been cycling to work 3 or more days a week for the last year, which has changed my life in a multitude of positive ways. What’s been particularly exciting for me over the last few months has been continuing with my regular bike commuting while getting progressively more and more PREGNANT!
I just participated in Bike to Work Week as part of team Velometro. At 32 weeks (8 months) pregnant, I’ve gotten some shocked, surprised and admiring glances from fellow cyclists on the bike lanes around the city. To be honest, it’s not often you see a visibly pregnant women riding around town! I’ve been inspired by the encouragement of my community to keep up with the cycling that has kept me healthy and active for the last year. Bike to Work Week in particular felt like a good time to celebrate how active, healthy and SAFE cycling is – for EVERYONE! I’m going to keep it up as long as I can and see no reason to stop.
In fact, I’ve recently learned that pregnant women are encouraged to cycle up until the VERY end in Copenhagen, where it’s quite common for moms-to-be to ride their bikes to the hospital while in early labour! I think that’s amazing and inspiring. I only live 3km from BC Women’s Hopspital…
Thank you for all the excellent work you do!” - Heather Ballachey, Velometro, Metro Vancouver

“I see preventive health benefits, anti-aging, and enjoyment as the number one reasons to ride. Just the plain feeling of freedom riding through the fresh air helps us have a positive view on life.” - Rob Southcott, City Councillor, Powell River

“I rode my bike to work this week because my friend gave me the push, and I needed to do something healthy. The best thing about this week has been enjoying the fresh air and getting more exercise.” - Plessa Walden, Campbell River

"I think employers and governments throughout Canada and the world should be encouraging bike commuting in any way they can, to promote healthier and happier employees and citizens. Installing showers in workplaces, gear incentives, city planning that includes safe bike routes and adequate racks etc. I think Bike to Work Week is an amazing initiative to help spread the word and get people talking about getting out of their cars and on their bikes. I had a blast, and so did my six year old daughter. There is not a doubt that we will both be participating next year and encouraging my other friends and family to join us! Thanks again BTWW!!!!” - Tim Angeloni, Whistler

“Hi. My first bike to work week was last year. I cycled every day during this week at 28km a day. 14km uphill. It started my season of commuting both years and now I consistently ride to get my work out in so I can manage my busy family. I even have a friend who did it with me this year. ...together we rode 250km.” - Christine Paquette, Comox Valley

“I participated in BTWW because I have a short commute and just required me to make a few schedule adjustments so that I could incorporate it into my day. Bike to Work Week has helped me to continue with it, with those minor adjustments and even bike home for lunch. I feel like I have found a way to get some exercise without having to make additional time for it in my busy life. The bonus is that my tank of gas seems to last forever now! I will definitely participate next year.” - Kelly Kitsch, Forest Technologist, District of Mission, Fraser Valley

“When I ride my bike, I am motivated by the fact that I am using a non-polluting mode of transportation, I save money, and as a bonus I am fully awake by the time I get to work!! : I think it's important to support initiatives that promote healthy living and community involvement. I love biking, so it made sense for me to register!” - Agnes Pion, Airport Security, Smithers Regional Airport, Smithers

“We were thrilled to see that Bike to Work now includes Schools. After all, change begins when you teach our young ones. Bike to School is a fun event to encourage families to change up their routine. The Celebration Station at our school, along with all the other events the City of Vernon was hosting, was enough to motivate my children to keep on pedaling. They now enjoy their 3km bike ride much more than their school bus ride. Biking is becoming the norm for our children, not just to school, but also when we are going from A to B as a family or biking to work. What seemed like a time consuming and complicated experience is now our way to enjoy and connect with our community and feel that we are contributing to a healthier planet. Happy and safe Cycling!” - Fabienne Winter, Parent Advisory Council, Ecole Beairsto School, Vernon & North Okanagan

“For me, cycling is the perfect way to stay fit, protect our air and climate and feel great at work. Thanks for introducing Bike to Work to Pemberton this year, and for doing an excellent job in organizing it!”  - Kiran Pal-Pross, Village of Pemberton

Read thousands of more testimonials here:


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