There are a million reasons why we can’t always bike to work. Commute’s too long, weather’s too yucky, errands are too many, duties are overwhelmingly sucky.
But, there are also a few good reasons to bike to work this week, or next week, or some week soon!
This is echoed in UK research – an 18-year-long British study finds “significant associations observed between overall psychological wellbeing (on a 36-point Likert scale) and active travel.”
Closer to home, Spire and Stanford found in their research that commuters who bike or walk are 40% less likely to be tense in the hour after arriving to work. Shaking off the stress on the way home seems to be even more needed – Spire and Stanford found that half of the men in their survey are tense when getting home from work.
Oliver Smith of Portland State University has delved deeply into how biking to work and active transportation can raise happiness levels. In a 2012 survey of 821 Portland commuters, Smith found that, “Commuting to work by active modes increases commute well-being, even when controlling for distance, income, and other factors.”
Last but not least the national organization People for Bikes has put out a great ‘commercial’ for the happy effects of biking. Titled “Shed the Monster,” the ad implies that biking – whether to work or perhaps just to the corner store to get some almond milk! – can help us all shed that beastly stress that can creep into lives overfilled with things to do.
But not just adults need to shed the monster - if you know a kid that could really use some monster-y helmet therapy, take a look at 2015's Little Monsters helmet with matching bell.