DATA INSIGHTS - Cycling to work can benefit your mental health

This Data Insights from Chris Dibben and Laurie Berrie expands on their previous 2022 cycling to work research, by showing a direct link between commuting by bicycle and improved mental health.

Our past research completed in July 2022, allowed us to clarify what factors predict whether an individual cycles to work or not? Our descriptive statistics of the 2011 census, from Glasgow and Edinburgh, showed that men were more likely than women to cycle, take a train or drive a car or van to work. Whereas women were more likely to walk to work, be a passenger in a car or van or take a bus or coach. Literature also suggested that a person’s residential proximity to the nearest cycle path increased their propensity to cycle commute. It was particularly interesting to note that there was an interaction between distance from home to cycle path and gender, indicating that women are increasingly less likely to cycle to work than men the further they live from a cycle path. This supported the argument that cycling to work (and travel in general) is a gendered issue. 

We have now built on this research and have been able to look at whether cycling to work benefits mental health. Our research shows that cycling to work, when compared to all other modes of commute, reduces the likelihood of experiencing mental ill-health, specifically anxiety and depression. For full details of our latest research, please read our latest Data Insights.

Our research has also been published by the The International Journal of Epidemiology on How cycling to work can improve your mental health



This article was published on 04 Jan 2024