Gearing up for work
Just 9% of the women we spoke to recently used their bicycle to get to the office, while nearly a fifth – 18% – of the men taking part in our survey commuted in to work on two wheels.
In all, we asked 2,000 men and women to tell us more about their cycling habits. Their answers showed us that women give more weight, perhaps, to the practical aspects of cycling than the health benefits.
- 9% of women wanted to use their car later in the day, and so chose not to cycle to work;
- 16% said a lack of showers in the workplace put them off the two-wheeled commute.
Both sexes had similar concerns about the distance they lived from work, and cycling in the rain, but 41% of the women were also worried about the safety aspect.
When it came to engaging with the health benefits of cycling in general, 25% of the women taking part in our survey said they were worried about not being fit enough to get on their bikes and 41% in total admitted they’d not ridden a bike for a couple of years or more. Men, on the other hand, appear to be psyched up and ready for a bike-ride first thing in the mornings: only 13% saw their own fitness as a challenge.
It’s better when you’re biking
There are some high profile female athletes such as Laura Trott and Dani King who are really putting women’s cycling on the map – but appetites for cycling across the board, for men as well as women, look as though they still depend on where you live in the country:
- Londoners and people living in East Anglian are the most likely to cycle to work, with almost one in five (18%) opting to do this;
- People in the East Midlands (where it’s arguably not quite as flat), are the least likely to bike to work, with just 10% commuting in on two wheels.
Here at Aviva, we encourage our employees to think pro-actively about their health and take advantage of schemes that promote wellbeing on the way to work – like our Bike to Work scheme, for example.
When we looked at how many employees had taken us up on our workplace offer to save on the cost of a new bicycle, the figures echoed those of our more general survey. Almost three times as many male members of staff had taken advantage of the benefit, compared to female employees.
That said, 9% of the women in our general survey audience said they’d been inspired to get their bikes out more often after seeing events like the Aviva Women’s Tour and the Olympics – which is very good news, overall.