Cycling and walking can increase productivity
Studies have shown that there are significant benefits to employers of having staff that are physically active. People who participate in physical activities report fewer days off due to illness (by 6-32%), lower turnover rates , lower healthcare costs (by 20-55%) and increased productivity (by 2-52%) than non-physically active employees.
Commuting by active transportation allows people to build physical activity into their daily routine. With people’s many responsibilities and daily time commitments, using active transportation may indeed be the only way they can get the daily physical activity they require. They just don't have time to go to the gym. Commuting by active transportation may prove to be more acceptable and more cost-efficient than programmes that focus on activities at the work site during the day.
There is an opportunity cost to participants of organized physical activity programs at work such as exercise, aerobic, spin or yoga classes. Such activities involve either the employer allowing the employee to take time off or the employee engaging in these activities during work breaks.
The majority of organizations that have tracked the results of physical activity programs or initiatives report that participating employees are pleased with the results.
Employees report that physical activity improves:
- Personal productivity;
- Job satisfaction;
- Enjoyment of work
- Reaction time;
- Mental alertness;
- Memory; and
- Mental concentration
The ability of a physically active executive group to make complex decisions increases dramatically compared to non-exercisers. Studies suggest that those who exercise work at full efficiency all day, amounting to a 12.5% increase in productivity over those who do not exercise.
I call upon the Government of BC to enable everyone in BC to cycle & walk in safety as part of their daily lives by implementing an Active Transportation Strategy that includes:
- Investing $1 billion over the next ten years to:
- Upgrade cycling & walking facilities on provincial roads & bridges
- Complete cycling & walking networks in communities across BC
- Provide safe routes to school for children
- Build trails & routes for cycling & walking tourism
- Ensuring that paths & protected bike lanes can be safely shared by people using wheelchairs, skateboards & in-line skates
- Enhancing cycling education for children & adults
- Promoting cycling & walking
- Encouraging electric bike use by eliminating the PST & providing rebates