What would happen if we swapped our cars for a bike? Merlin Cycles shows the difference 2 wheels can make.
The Impact of the Commute
The UK is a nation of hardcore commuters. Pre-Covid, the average worker in the UK spent over a year of their life commuting to and from work — and it’s taken its toll on us mentally and physically.
Following on from the events of COP26 in November, the experts at Merlin Cycles wanted to challenge commuters to be more sustainable: what would happen to if you swapped your car for a bike for 12 months?
They based results on the assumption that today, most workers have started to go into the office once or twice a week, or travel in the car for at least a few hours every week.
What Switching Your Travel Habits Can Do
This is what would happen to you and your body after 12 months of switching your travel habits:
After one week of swapping your car:
Ø Increased oxygen flow to your brain, making you more aware
Ø A 20-minute ride improves your mood for up to 12 hours
Ø On average, you’ll burn up to 560 calories cycling to and from work.
After two weeks
Ø Your lung capacity could increase by as much as 15%
Ø You can digest proteins up to 4 times faster so you lose weight more quickly
Ø You’re sleeping better
After one month
Ø You’re noticeably stronger and fitter
Ø You’re energised by your ride to work
Ø You no longer feel as tired when you wake up
After three months
Ø You’re visibly slimmer and more toned
Ø Your heart has literally increased in size
Ø You’ve saved as much as £400, which is enough to cover the cost of a decent bike
After six months
Ø You have faster reflexes because your nervous system has become more efficient
Ø You’re taking half as many sick days
Ø You’re experiencing prolonged mental health benefits
After one year
Ø You’ve saved between 2 and 4 metric tons of C02 emissions – the weight of at least 2 cars
Ø Your bones are stronger
Ø You could have saved up to £1500 in travel expenses
The Problem With Today’s Commute
Today’s average commute is 56 minutes a day — an awfully long time to be sitting still listening to that radio host you can’t really stand.
Cycling can help alleviate the three key side effects of commuting:
- Stress – as with any form of cardiovascular exercise, cycling directly counters the effects of stress. All that works to put you in a better mood for the rest of the day. In fact, just 20 minutes of cycling could make you happier for up to 12 hours!
- Lack of physical activity – cycling is a fairly obvious solution to the problem of the sedentary commute. If the average commuter spent the same amount of time cycling as they currently do commuting, they would burn 560 calories a day. IT also improves sleep making you more focused and energised
- Expenses – in the course of your first year cycling to work, you could to save as much as £1,500 on travel costs alone. When they crunched the numbers to include the maintenance required for a car, that saving goes up to a whopping £3,743 a year!
Better on Two Wheels
You don’t need to be a victim to your daily commute. Cycling lets you take it back and use it for good.
It means you get regular exercise without taking time away from your home life. It cuts down your stress and leaves you feeling happier. And finally, it means you can easily top up your rainy-day fund with all the savings you’re making on monthly travel expenses.