A new study from Concordia University in Montreal finds that people who commute to work on a bike arrive at the office less stressed.
Published in the International Journal of Workplace Management (2017; 10 , 13–24), the survey-based study compared stress levels among people who rode a bike, drove a car or used public transportation during their commute. To collect data, the researchers asked 123 employees of Montreal-based software company Autodesk about how they traveled to work and how they perceived their stress levels and mood. Subjects answered the questions within 45 minutes of getting to the office.
Employees who biked to work reported significantly lower stress levels than the other two groups (whose levels of stress were similar). There was no difference in mood among the three groups.
In light of these results, the researchers suggested that biking to the office may influence how the workday shakes out.
“Recent research has shown that early morning stress and mood are strong predictors of their effect later in the day,” said Stéphane Brutus, PhD, professor of management and employee motivation at Concordia. “They can shape how subsequent events are perceived, interpreted and acted upon for the rest of the day.”
“A lower level of early stress among cyclists offers further evidence for the promotion of active commute modes,” the report concluded.