Active Transportation: The Key to Employee Health and Wellness

Imagine starting your day with a refreshing bike ride to work, the crisp morning air filling your lungs and the gentle hum of city life awakening around you. As we celebrate Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, it’s the perfect time to explore how such simple shifts in daily routines can lead to profound improvements in workplace well-being. One of the most impactful strategies is promoting active transportation—like biking, e-biking, and using e-scooters—for daily commutes. Encouraging employees to trade their cars for these alternatives not only boosts physical health but also supports environmental sustainability. Inhale… Exhale… Ahhh…

In this article, we’ll dive into why employers should champion active transportation options and the numerous benefits they stand to gain. Additionally, we’ll highlight a few shared mobility companies that are making significant strides in this area.

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Active Transportation: The Key to Employee Health and Wellness

The Benefits of Active Transportation for Employees

Active transportation, like biking, e-biking, and walking, brings a host of benefits to employees. One of the biggest perks is the boost to physical health. Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health, and incorporating exercise into daily routines through active commuting is a seamless way to achieve this. Cycling, for example, is an excellent cardiovascular workout that significantly reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. In fact, the British Medical Journal reports that regular cycling to work is associated with a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 45% lower risk of cancer.

But the benefits don’t stop at physical health. Active transportation also does wonders for mental well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. According to the American Psychological Association, regular physical activity can lower the risk of depression by 26%. Plus, the sense of accomplishment from an active commute can enhance job satisfaction, leading to a happier and more productive workday.

There’s also a significant environmental upside. Reducing the number of cars on the road cuts down on carbon emissions, contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment. The European Cyclists’ Federation estimates that cycling 10 km to work instead of driving can save around 1,500 kg of CO2 emissions annually. This not only helps the planet but also instills a sense of community responsibility among employees.

Cost savings are another major benefit. By reducing expenses on fuel, parking fees, and vehicle maintenance, employees can save a considerable amount of money. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that owning and operating a vehicle in the U.S. costs about $9,282 per year. Switching to biking or e-scooting can significantly lower these costs, providing long-term financial benefits.

Moreover, active transportation can help reduce the stress and dissatisfaction associated with long commutes and traffic congestion. Research from the University of Waterloo found that long commutes and high levels of congestion are linked to increased stress and lower overall life satisfaction. By switching to biking or scooting, employees can avoid traffic, enjoy fresh air, and experience shorter, more enjoyable commutes. This change not only boosts mental well-being but also promotes a healthier and more active lifestyle overall.

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The Benefits of Active Transportation for Employers

also yields significant benefits for employers. By encouraging biking, e-biking, and e-scootering, companies can create a healthier, more engaged, and productive workforce. Here are just a few key benefits for employers:

1. Enhanced Productivity and Reduced Sick Days:

Active transportation can lead to a healthier workforce, which in turn can reduce absenteeism. According to a study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, employees who engage in regular physical activity experience a 27% reduction in sick days compared to their less active counterparts. Healthier employees are less likely to take sick leave, resulting in fewer disruptions and increased productivity.

2. Improved Employee Retention:

Companies that prioritize employee well-being often see higher retention rates. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 58% of employees consider wellness programs an important factor in their job satisfaction. Offering programs that support active transportation can enhance a company’s reputation as an employer that cares about its workforce, making it easier to attract and retain top talent.

3. Positive Corporate Image and Sustainability Goals:

Promoting active transportation aligns with corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives and sustainability goals. Companies that actively reduce their carbon footprint can enhance their public image and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers and employees. According to a report by Nielsen, 81% of global respondents feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability through active transportation programs can strengthen a company’s brand and market position.

Active Transportation

How Employers Can Promote Active Transportation

To successfully encourage employees to adopt active transportation, employers need to create a supportive environment and offer meaningful incentives. A great way to start is by implementing incentive programs, such as financial subsidies for purchasing bikes, e-bikes, or e-scooters. Setting up reward systems where employees can earn points or perks for choosing active transportation options can also motivate more individuals to make the switch.

Partnering with local shared mobility operators can provide employees with additional commuting options. Collaborating with these operators to offer discounted memberships or access to shared mobility services like bike-share programs, e-scooters, and carpooling can make active transportation more accessible and convenient for employees.

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To learn more about the shared mobility operators and tech companies collaborating with employers, here are a few shared mobility companies that movmi has worked with:

Urban Connect

Urban Connect is making significant strides in promoting employee health and fitness through innovative commuting solutions. Their approach centers on offering a multimodal mobility platform that includes a variety of active transportation options like e-bikes, e-scooters, and public transportation. This platform is designed to be flexible and customizable, providing employees with a monthly mobility budget that they can use on various transportation services. This flexibility not only makes commuting more convenient but also supports a healthier and more active lifestyle for employees.

They also focus on sustainability and employee satisfaction. Urban Connect provides a carbon-neutral platform that tracks, avoids, and compensates residual emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability. The inclusion of features such as a “Climate Cockpit” for carbon emissions reporting and gamification elements helps engage employees and encourages the use of eco-friendly commuting options.

Mobi Bike Share

Mobi Bike Share, now known as Mobi by Rogers, is a key player in transforming how commuters navigate Vancouver. With a fleet of 2,000 regular bikes and 600 e-bikes, spread across 248 stations, Mobi provides an accessible, convenient, and eco-friendly transportation option for the city’s residents. Mobi also actively engages with local businesses and community organizations by offering corporate programs. 

Employers can sign up for these corporate memberships using promo codes provided by Mobi, which significantly reduce the cost of the passes. For example, the Corporate Pass, normally priced at $169, is available for $119 with the promo code, offering unlimited 60-minute rides on classic bikes throughout the year.

Last year they expanded their fleet to include e-bikes, which have become increasingly popular, especially during peak commuting times. Data analyzed by movmi revealed that more people are opting for e-bikes over mechanical bikes, particularly in the outskirting communities of Vancouver. The introduction of e-bikes has significantly enhanced the accessibility and appeal of Mobi’s bike share program, supporting a broader range of commuting needs and encouraging more people to switch to sustainable transportation options.

Interested in learning more?

We analyzed trip data available from Mobi by Roger’s website and supporting cycling infrastructure data from Open Street Maps. 

Some of the questions we were trying to answer with this data analysis was,

  • How do e-bikes change trip patterns?
  • Where is the most demand for electric bikes?
  • How do e-bikes positively impact the residents? With an aim to gain infrastructural support.
Micromobility Data Analysis

TransLink’s TravelSmart program is focused on enhancing employee transportation through sustainable commuting options. It encourages individuals and local businesses to adopt sustainable modes, including walking, cycling, transit, and carpooling. By providing toolkits and resources, TravelSmart supports healthier commuting habits. The program partners with local shared mobility companies like Mobi Bike Share, Modo, and Evo to offer discounted memberships and flexible commuting choices. Additionally, TravelSmart collaborates with local government partners and planning teams to keep customers informed about new and existing services. It also works with community and non-profit groups to reach seniors, newcomers, businesses, and school groups, promoting sustainable transportation options widely.

Commutifi

Commutifi helps organizations optimize their commuting programs, ensuring that employees have access to the best options tailored to their needs and preferences. They offer flexible commuting programs that include flexible spending cards, allowing employees to choose from various modes such as biking, carpooling, and public transportation. This flexibility enhances convenience and encourages sustainable commuting habits. Their partnerships with entities like TransLink provide subsidies and support, making sustainable commuting more accessible for both large and small organizations. By promoting active transportation and offering incentives, Commutifi improves employees’ physical and mental health, with features like secure bike parking, trip planning, and educational resources to support active commuting.

HelloScoot'

HelloScoot is actively developing a carpooling product to enhance employee commuting in French Polynesia. Known for their shared electric scooter services in Tahiti and Moorea, HelloScoot’ is expanding their mobility solutions to include carpooling, which research from the University of Waterloo suggests can be less stressful than commuting alone.

HelloScoot’ is leveraging data to understand commuting patterns and optimize routes, ensuring efficiency and convenience for users. Their data-driven approach helps identify the best routes, times, and groupings for carpooling, making the service more effective and user-friendly. The platform emphasizes eco-friendly transportation, using electric vehicles charged with solar power. HelloScoot’ offers comprehensive services, including free driving sessions to ensure safety and comfort, which will likely extend to their carpooling product.

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Embracing active transportation offers a multitude of benefits for both employees and employers. By encouraging biking, e-biking, and walking, companies can foster a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce while simultaneously supporting environmental sustainability. The advantages are clear: improved physical and mental health, cost savings, reduced traffic congestion, and a positive corporate image.

To make this transition successful, employers should create a supportive environment and offer meaningful incentives. Implementing financial subsidies for purchasing bikes, setting up reward systems, and partnering with local shared mobility operators can make active transportation more accessible and appealing.

As we’ve seen, shared mobility companies like Urban Connect, Commutifi, HelloScoot, TransLink, and Mobi Bike Share are leading the way in providing innovative solutions to enhance commuting experiences. By collaborating with these companies, employers can further support their employees in making healthier and more sustainable commuting choices.

As we celebrate Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, now is the perfect time to champion active transportation and make a lasting positive impact on both your workforce and the environment. Let’s pedal our way to a brighter, healthier future!

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