It’s January, which means that many of us will have a New Year’s resolution. If those resolutions include losing weight, becoming fitter or saving money then overhauling the commute to work could be one way of making a New Year’s resolution and sticking to it. Laura King looks at options for encouraging active commuting in your organisation.

Active commuting — ie using physical activity as a means of transport such as walking, running or cycling — has many benefits. It improves mental wellbeing, physical health and saves money on fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear, not to mention any savings on the gym membership that’s no longer needed.

Not using a personal vehicle for the daily commute is not just beneficial for employees. Active commuting is a good antidote to the effects of sedentary jobs and numerous studies show that a physically active workforce is less likely to take sick leave, is more productive, less stressed and happier at work. As trends towards a healthier lifestyle become more popular, having a workplace that allows for active commuting can also help improve staff recruitment and retention. Furthermore, a reduction in private car use will reduce indirect carbon emissions, benefiting the organisation’s environmental credentials too.

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