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Cycle to work to beat winter blues – don't let Britain be a hibernation nation says Boardman

Two thirds of people say their mood is negatively affected by not spending enough time outdoors in autumn and winter

Chris Boardman has encouraged more people to give cycle commuting a go after research commissioned by Cyclescheme and Halfords to mark Cycle to Work Day today revealed that October 23 is the day that UK employees begin to ‘hibernate.’

The survey of 2,000 employees carried out by Populous in July found that two-thirds of people (66%) spend less than an hour outside during the autumn and winter months, with over 1 in 4 (27%) only spending half an hour or less outdoors.

Over half (52%) of respondents said they were lazier and less active during the winter and autumn months, yet 67% said their physical health can be negatively affected by not spending enough time outdoors and 68% said their mood can be negatively affected.

Although cycling does warrant a mention, Britain’s top ten autumn and winter activities aren’t the liveliest when taken as a whole.

  1. Snuggling up for a TV show or movie marathon
  2. Wrapping up in a duvet
  3. Eating comforting, hot soup
  4. Drinking hot, steaming drinks
  5. Cooking a meal at home for friends or family
  6. Sitting inside by a fire
  7. Going for a walk or cycle outdoors in the crisp air
  8. Going to the pub with friends or family
  9. Playing board games inside
  10. Playing sports outside e.g. (five-a-side)

Boardman said that autumn was a key time to prepare for what was to come.

“It’s not surprising that we spend as little as an hour outdoors during the cooler months, choosing to stay warm in the office as the winter winds blow away our motivation to get out. But winter is also the season that brings us most opportunities for overindulgence so it’s definitely worth the effort to keep active through the colder months.

“The trick is to work it into your daily routine, walking and riding to work for example is an ideal way to keep body and mind in great shape. September and October are the best months to get yourself and your bike ready; with good water proofs and mudguards, it’s easy to enjoy a British winter on two wheels, so when everyone else goes into hibernation, you can feel good throughout the party season.”

Last year’s Cycle to Work Day was the most successful to date and saw 32,763 riders cycle 489,674 miles.

This year’s event is being run in partnership with Halfords and the retailer is among a number of organisations offering discounts to mark the day.

  • Muc off is offering a 10% discount
  • Showers Pass is offering 25% discount
  • Santander cycles is offering free access to Santander Cycles for 30 minutes journeys, after a deposit is paid
  • British Cycling is offering discounted membership
  • Henty is offering a 15% discount

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