World Bicycle Day- A Day Honoring Cycling and its Benefits
It is June, and guess what June is famous for? World Environment Day, yes! And when we are talking about the ecosystem, there is one day in June dedicated to an activity that acts as a savior to the environment from the ugly shackles of pollution- World Bicycle Day.
Besides saving nature, cycling serves health purposes too. Riding a cycle is the first challenging physical task we have had to do in our childhoods, and I am sure many of you will agree. Those protective hands holding the backseat while we peddle are moments to be cherished forever.
Despite having falls and injuries, bicycle rides are a fun activity, not to mention how they positively impact our physical and mental health. Thus, in that spirit, let us talk about World Bicycle Day, a day dedicated to cycle rides and their impact on us and the environment.
"No comparison of the simple pleasure of a bike ride." -John F. Kennedy.
What is World Bicycle Day?
My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. - Peter Golkin
World Bicycle Day came into being for so many reasons. In April 2018, the United Nations established this day to recognize the longevity and uniqueness of a bicycle together with its ability to be an environmentally fit sustainable means of transport.
Following that, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 3rd as World Bicycle Day as a dedication to this reliable, affordable, and ecologically fit two-wheeled transport.
As per World Health Organization (WHO), "safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is also a pathway for achieving greater health equity.
Now, as we all know the reason behind celebrating Bicycle Day, let us find out the primary brain of it all. Professor Leszek Sibilski, a Polish social scientist, led a campaign with his sociology class to raise awareness about a UN resolution to designate a day for celebrating World Bicycle Day worldwide. Sibilski devoted himself to this and worked tirelessly on an academic project, studying bicycles and their part in development.
The project achieved great success, leading to the formation of international bicycle day. June 3rd marked the day when this resolution was unanimously accepted by 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Assembly was convinced of the benefits of bicycle usage both for health and convenience. They even admired the national attempts at organizing cycling rides to promote cycling culture and the various physical and mental health benefits of cycling.
Used for the last two centuries, bicycles have never gone out of style. In fact, with the rising concerns for health today, especially after covid, they are very much in the game.
Significance of World Bicycle Day
Whether a two-wheeler, a mountain bike, or one with training wheels, bicycles are widely celebrated on this day.
Commuting to work on bicycles in today's world is very common, for either personal or environmental health. Also, one important fact is that bicycle's influence on society has been very transformative. With its cost-effective nature, even the poorest people can get their hands on a bike, making commuting easy.
What celebrating World Bicycle Day means:
It makes people aware of road safety measures, thus promoting safety.
It appeals to the states to include bicycle awareness in their developmental policies and programs.
It awakens the public with knowledge and information on the positive health impact of riding bicycles.
It creates a sense of accountability in people concerning the environment and sustainability.
It brings the focus of people to road issues and traffic jams and how these can be easily avoided through cycling.
It even motivates people to cycle to work and stop using those fueled vehicles that cause pollution.
A blacksmith in Scotland named Kirkpatrick Macmillan is generally credited with inventing the first pedal-driven bicycle in 1839.
Benefits of Celebrating World Bicycle Day
A bad day on a mountain bike always beats a good day in the office.- Anonymous
Taking care of our health has been a big concern in the current world. However, we hardly get a chance to make time for those workout sessions amid the hustle-bustle of work and life. In such a situation, getting a bicycle might come in handy. Cycling to work is already a thing in countries like the UK and the Netherlands to reduce environmental pollution.
Along with being a convenient and feasible mode of transportation, bicycling rejuvenates our overall health and is cost-saving, making it good for the economy as well. Employees who cycle to work daily agree that bicycling saves them from those pathetic traffic jams. There is, in fact, a separate cycling lane for cyclists in most cities.
So, let us take the opportunity of World Bicycle Day and discuss the many benefits cycle rides to and from work bestow on employees and society.
1. Makes us Happy
As per research, bicycling makes people happy and triggers optimistic feelings. Just like any other exercise, cycling is a physical activity that releases endorphins. These are the feel-good hormones released by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to respond to pain or stress, further triggering feelings of euphoria.
So, when we cycle to work, our moods automatically get a boost, motivating us to have a pretty good day ahead. Moreover, commuting by cycle gives us a lot of time and space to process our minds and sort out our thoughts too.
2. Enhances Brain Capacity
Are you one of those who lag a little behind in the problem-solving process? Do not worry because cycling helps with that too. Cycling improves our cardiorespiratory health and greatly impacts our memory power; it enhances memory cells and helps build new brain cells.
Our memory often deteriorates with age, but fitness exercises like cycling prevent that and boost blood and oxygen to the brain. It also stimulates the central nervous system and activates the cerebral cortex, increasing core stability and balance.
3. Boosts Creativity
Creativity is something that does not come that easily. Yet it is the most important requirement to make our work lives interesting and fun. According to one study, there is a relationship between healthy lifestyles and creative imagination.
As we have established that cycling releases endorphins and these hormones increase blood flow, which further boosts happiness and also fuels abstract thoughts. Thus, it can make you come up with those innovative ideas for your team and deliver productive outcomes.
4. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Bicycling is an aerobic exercise that works with our heart, lungs, and blood vessels. While doing cardiovascular workouts, we tend to sweat more, increasing our body temperature. So if we cycle to work on a daily basis, our muscles get engaged daily, and the cardiovascular system stays intact.
In addition, cycling will reduce the risks of developing conditions like heart disease and cancer.
Sticking to the routine anyway helps our fitness regime altogether. In other words, consistency is the key. Because even if we cannot make it to the gym every day, the routine of cycling to work is a habit we can keep continuing.
5. Burns Calories
The constant rush between office and home makes it difficult to keep track of our meals. Reaching the office on time itself becomes difficult, let alone carrying lunch. It makes fast food or junk food our go-to food these days.
We go for our convenient option, i.e., ordering food from the apps or going out to nearby food joints and hogging on burgers and pizzas.
Despite knowing the setbacks associated with unhealthy eating patterns, we do not think twice before indulging in them. We lose count of our calorie intake and give rise to health risks like obesity. But if we commute to work on our bicycles, we can strike a good balance. One hour of cycling burns around 1000 calories, which is a lot. In fact, we can shed more than we consume. That way, we can stay fit and have those snacks guilt-free.
Cycling is gentler on the body and more targeted, so you can do it for longer than running, which uses more muscles.
6. Corrects Sleep Schedule
It is a known fact that a good sleeping pattern keeps one healthy. What we see in recent times is that most of us have our sleep schedules messed up. Whether due to late-night work or binge-watch, all of us are night persons. This habit often leads to unusual sleep behaviors like insomnia, sleep apnea, etc.
Also, a poor sleep routine hampers our productivity as well. I mean, with 4 hours of sleep, how can we expect ourselves to focus on work and not yawn in the office?
Worry not! Cycling helps with that too. When our bodies go through vigorous exercises like cycling, we tend to sleep better and quicker. Hence, the proper sleep we get, the more efficient we become.
7. Slows down our Age
We might not go back to our prime, but cycling surely does help with age slowing process. It strengthens our muscles and keeps our immune system healthy. Aging, as we know, is inevitable, but at least we have the capacity to slow or reverse it.
As we age, our muscle mass gets older, and it affects flexibility. But if we cycle regularly, this problem is solved.
Since bicycling boosts cardiovascular function, it assists the body in fighting off diseases. This feature keeps away all kinds of diseases like obesity, cancer, and diabetes, among other health issues. Because when we are constantly riding bicycles, our bodies turn efficient and start regenerating new cells.
8. Increases Focus
A workplace needs focus and concentration. And multiple distractions are going to be present in the office all day and fighting through those can be tiresome.
Cycling comes to our rescue on this as well. According to a study by the University of Bristol, employees who exercised before work have successfully managed to improve their time and workload management skills.
Thus, adding cycling to the routine can do way more than just enhance our physical well-being. It has the ability to help us deal with workplace stress, boost better interpersonal performance, and give us the drive to finish work on time.
Celebrating World Bicycle Day at Work
If you are an employer willing to convince your employees to give up their sedentary lifestyles and develop fitness motivation in them, celebrating World Bicycle Day can be a good start.
This World Bicycle Day,
Raise awareness of the various environmental and health benefits of cycling through seminars. Promote the concept of cycling to work in the same.
Host a cycling competition or event and involve your workforce.
Assign interesting rewards for participation and winning.
Send bicycling memes and facts to your employees over emails and bulletin boards.
Lead by example by cycling to work once or twice a week for your employees to do the same.
The longest tandem bicycle accomodated 35 people, it was more than 65 feet long.
Wrap it Up
Reliable, clean, and environmentally fit transportation is what we all need to create a sustainable and pollution-free world. And we have already established the facts about how bicycles encourage sustainable development, boost health, and prevent diseases.
Also, they are simple, affordable, reliable, and clean and promote tolerance and mutual understanding. Basically, cycling serves all of humanity. Amid the pandemic and ahead of World Environment Day, it has successfully proved to be the most convenient and healthy activity for humans and mother Earth.
Thus, promoting the versatility of bicycles and prioritizing employee health, try to celebrate World Bicycle Day 2022 with all the cheer, and brighten everyone's spirits at work.
In other words, cycle yours and your employees' worries away.
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