Seth Ferguson
Pedyl founder. 20+ year cyclist.

Scientific proof that riding a bike to work will make you happier

Your coworker who rides her bike to work is convinced that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Is there something to it, or is she just a bit of a hippy? It's easy to get into a routine driving or taking public transit (hey whatever works!) but what kind of benefits could you be missing out on? It turns out there are benefits galore which have been proven by peer-reviewed science - the same benefits that are further supported by that bike commuting coworker of yours. Let's dive right in!

Get sick less often

A study from 2010 found that those who bike to work take less sick days on average than those who don't. They also found that "the more often people cycle to work and the longer the distance travelled, the less they report sick." Remember kids to wash your hands before dinner, eat an apple a day, and to ride your bike to work so you don't get sick. See the science here.

Lower your chances of cancer

A 2017 study on active commuting found that those who ride a bike to work have a 41% lower risk of dying from all causes. Bike commuters are 45% less likely to develop cancer, and 40% less likely of dying from cancer. They found that "Initiatives to encourage and support active commuting could reduce risk of death and the burden of important chronic conditions." Basically, you turn into superman. See the science here.

Start your day less stressed

A 2017 study found that "those who cycled to work were less stressed than their counterparts who arrived by car". This is especially meaningful, given that "start of work day mood" was proven to be linked to performance in another study. It's a sure way to a cool day. See the science here.

Get your exercise in

Of course riding a bike is great exercise, but how does it compare to a "real" workout? A 2017 study discovered that bike commuting is almost just as effective as a "vigorous exercise routine" in leisure time. Over a six month period, study participants who biked to work lost 9.2 pounds, while those who exercised in their leisure time lost 9.9 pounds. So you might even be able to skip spin class or the gym and spend more time collecting stamps and doing origami. See the science here.

Bonus - Not only is biking to work close to or as effective as your regular workout... another study analyzed a dataset with over 150,000 people and found that those who biked to work were indeed more in shape that those who drove. Men were 11lbs lighter and two BMI points lower, and women were 9.7lbs lighter and 1.65 BMI points less. The proof is in the pudding. See the science here.

Make a positive contribution to society

Is riding a bike a sure way to reduce your carbon footprint? Cars emit a whopping 271g CO2e per passenger-kilometre. Busses, are better at 101 g CO2e per passenger-kilometre. But you guessed it, bikes come in first place at 21 grams of CO2e per passenger kilometre travelled (after accounting for those calories you're burning). That's 12.9x less CO2e, folks, which means bikes can make a real impact. See the science here.

Bonus - This study estimates that if 2.1x more people rode a bike to work in Stockholm, it would result in a collective 449 years of life saved annually - just from reduced air pollution. Bikes save lives, people.


Hopefully all this science won over your heart, and you're convinced that riding your bike to work is a great life decision. Ready to get started? Join the waitlist for Pedyl - the app that pays you to ride your bike to work - and check out The complete guide to start riding a bike to work in 2018.

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