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Commuters Require Less Sick Days

by Bike Shop Girl

Many large companies in the US believe that a healthier employee is a happier employee.  It looks like research is proving that a commuting employee is a healthier employee which requires fewer sick days.

I would love to see the companies that put money forward for gym or yoga membership to instead put that towards anyone that rides their bike to work.  If a company, like Bank of America, gave their employee say $50 per month for a gym membership and also helped pay for their parking spot in a garage or parking lot to work at their company on the minimum of $600 per year.  Now instead of them paying for a gym membership you might use 3-4 times a week, and a parking spot that takes up land, leads to more gas use and pollution they give you that $50+ to ride your bike to work, provide you with a shower and safe bike storage instead of a parking spot and your company will also now get a tax break thanks to the Commuter Act that was passed.

There’s many people moving up in organizations across the U.S that have greener thoughts about how their companies should hold themselves.  Between green thinking, recycling, bike riding, car pooling and less need for parking lots.  Are any of you tackling these hurtles at your own job? Personally, I work at a bike shop and still see the need for things to become enviromental friendly.

 
Burley nomad 269

13 Responses to “Commuters Require Less Sick Days”

  1. jamesmallon says:

    Not “less”: ‘fewer’. ‘Day’ is a count-noun (one day, two days…) just like ‘dog’ (one dog…). You neither say ‘less dogs’ nor ‘less days’: ‘fewer dogs’ and ‘fewer days’.

  2. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    I believe it. In going on four years of bike commuting, every coworker I have worked with has had the flu or bad cold at least once, while the last time I was sick was just as I was starting to bike instead of drive or walk to work. I believe that while biking, my body temp rises, killing germs before they multiply enough to make me sick”. among other health benefits. Still, I have to pay the same as car-commuters for health insurance.

  3. Paul says:

    The cold I got over the weekend I fully blame on riding the bus to work three times last week. But I also blame the rapidity with which I’m getting over it on my health from bicycle commuting.

    I get sick way less often since I started bike commuting, and I didn’t get sick that much before. I think I’ve missed one day of work from being sick in the year and a half I’ve been a committed bike commuter.

  4. Don’t think about removing one health benefit for another. It should be gyms AND cycling commutation to work. Many areas aren’t feasible for large-scale cycling-to-work programs in winter months, and there’s nothing wrong with going to the gym for health. (In fact, cycling isn’t a weight-bearing exercise, so there are many health issues cycling won’t help with at all.)

  5. Arleigh says:

    David –

    I think its more about giving that person an option and maybe I didn’t state that in the above article. Maybe someones work out weekly is riding to work so they would opt to have the benefits of a gym membership put towards facilities and such.

  6. In my company we made a research to evaluate the bike-commuting feasibility.

    It was a surprise! Lots of employees would like to bike if it was a little easier…

    Unfortunately, with all the pro arguments the employers just ignored our requests, even the simplest ones.

  7. jdb says:

    I’m extraordinarily fortunate in this regard – my company provides a $100 “transportation stipend” that can then be used for the transportation option of our choice.

    They also cover 1/2 the monthly fees at a nearby gym, so we are making out like bandits in this respect.

    These are they types of things that have kept me at this company for 8 years!

  8. NoTrail says:

    With all the layoffs and the freeze on all pay raises, I’m not about to ask my boss for any cash for riding to work.

    I’m just pleased that I have shower facilities, a locker room, and that they don’t mind me leaving my bike in the empty cube next to mine.

  9. Rob E. says:

    Paragraph 2, sentences 2 and 3 are hard for me to follow, but I gather you’re proposing a company give you money to bike to work instead of paying for your parking and gym membership? My work pays for none of those things as it is. I bike and bus to work, avoiding parking fees, but because I would have to pay for a full gym membership to have access to a morning shower, I mostly only bike home, taking the bus in the morning. I do wish my employer provided access to showers, but I do have free access to public transportation because of them. So they’re halfway there by providing financial incentives to not drive, provided you’re on a bus route, but it would be nice for them encourage health as well by ensuring that I didn’t have to start work a big, sweaty mess on the days that I bike in. Some day I may break down and get a gym membership just for the shower access, but on that day I will be paying to bike commute, rather than being paid to do it.

  10. RoadKill(er) says:

    I am lucky that my employer provides a gym membership close to work, and safe inside bike parking. Now I just need the snow and bad school bus drivers to cooperate, and I’ll be back to bike commuting.

  11. Sara says:

    I dont think its fair to take away the gym membership in place of the bike commute bonus. For me personally – and there are tons of ppl just like me – my office is 35 miles up the highway, OR 40 miles along busy streets with long stretches of sidewalk that remain unplowed in winter. There are colleagues of mine, on the other hand, who live a town or two away from work, and a handful of them do indeed bike to work. With that said, the company does sponser a membership to a gym, which i attend 3-5 days a week religiously.

    The parking space my car sits in, was there a LONG time before my car showed up to sit in it. Forcing me to pedal 40 miles, twice a day, isnt gonna happen. I cant crank out 80mile days 5 days a week. If I lived close to work, I’d be all for it. But my point is, employees should have a choice.

  12. Tim says:

    I guess I am really lucky. My company has purchased a group membership at a gym right next door, so we pay half-price; even less if we pay for a whole year all at once. My firm has also dedicated a little-used conference room for parking our bikes. I park my bike and just walk across the hall to the showers in the morning.

    A gym membership in Phoenix is almost a necessity in the hot, summer months when even late night temperatures can hover above 100 degrees F. For about four months out of the year, when I get off work I circuit train or ride the stationary bike. In the late fall, winter and early spring I get to take a wonderful, comfortable bike commute.

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