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Biking to Work Could Reduce Stress Levels, Improve Work Performance

Jun 24, 2017 11:13 AM EDT
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People who ride their bike to work are less stressed than those who take public commute or drive a car.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A team of researchers from the John Molson School of Business at the Concordia University found that biking to work can not only help in cutting down carbon dioxide emissions, but can also reduce stress levels.

Their discovery, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Environment, showed that people who rode their bike on the way to work experience significantly lower level of stress, than those who travelled by car or public transports.

"There are relatively few studies that compare the affective experiences of cyclists with those of car and public transport users," said Stéphane Brutus, lead author of the study, in a press release. "Our study was an attempt to address that gap."

For the study, the researchers used web-based survey to collect data from 123 people working at the information technology company Autodesk. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their mood, perceived commuting stress and mode of travel.

The researchers only accepted the response of the participants who completed the questionnaires within 45 minutes of arriving at work. They did this in order to get more of an "in-moment" assessment of the stress and mood of the employees.

After carefully assessing the data gathered from the respondents, the researchers found that employees who rode their bike to work reported less stressed than their counterparts who rode a car or took public commute. Lower level of stress in the morning could indicate better work performance throughout the day.

"Recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect later in the day," explained Brutus. "They can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day."

Cycling has been known to be greatly beneficial for both the human health and the environment. Riding the bike to work will not only make you physically fit, but can also help in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. With the result of the study, the researchers hope that more people will be encourage to ride their bike, instead of taking public commute or driving a car.

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