The Love to Ride Blog

Creating a more bike friendly world

The World Health Organization’s Recommendations on Physical Exercise - How to Achieve This Ambitious Goal?

The WHO recommends that all adults engage in at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (or 75–150 minutes vigorous-intensity activity) per week in order to stay healthy.

Many around the globe, however, struggle to achieve this goal, resulting in poorer health, increased mortality, and a host of related physical and mental challenges.

For over a decade, the team at Love to Ride has been committed to getting more people moving in a fun and easy way - by encouraging them to experience the joys of riding a bike (many for the first time since childhood!).  We’ve succeeded in getting more people moving: to date, we’ve supported over 712,000 individuals, 43,000 organisations, in 12 countries through a variety of Love to Ride programmes and challenges.

We know that physical activity is not equitable. Deprived areas, ethnic minorities and isolated rural communities have consistently lower levels of physical activity, so the challenge is: how do we bring everyone with us?

Andrew Moult 2

 

Together, Getting People Moving!

Since 2021 we've partnered with local authorities in the North East with the goal of getting more people moving more often. Gateshead, Durham, North Tyneside, Northumberland & Sunderland have participated in Love to Ride’s Ride 365 programme, with 4 seasonal cycling campaigns to support and encourage everyday journeys by bike.  Using a unique approach to behaviour change, we help break down the barriers that individuals may have to exercising and help them increase physical activity over the long term.

 

A Dive into the Data...

Total Participants - 1,171

  • 39% Female cyclists

  • 35% New cyclists

  • 42% of participants live in the 30% most deprived areas 

  • 87% of participants had the stated goal of improving health and fitness

 

Why they participated:

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More people moving, more often:

  • 69%  logged an average of 150 mins of cycling per week - this equates to a 17% reduced risk of mortality

  • 47% of respondents noted an increase in the number of days they were physically active

  • Of those who did not meet the WHO recommended levels of physical activity per week, 55% noted an increase as a result of participating 

  • 33% of all respondents noted they had been more active as a result of participating

Tamsin Law UK
Chris Skelhorn - UK
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Changing behaviour, long term:

  • 40% of all participants increased the amount they cycled to work as a result of the challenge

  • 88% of new riders continued riding more often than they had 12 months before the initiative

  • 75% of participants who did not do any physical activity at baseline had increased physical activity to three or more days after participating

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Conclusion 

The facts are clear: 40% of the population falls far below* recommended levels of exercise. 

Getting more people moving is a formidable challenge.

And the barriers are clear both at an individual and societal level: the lack of time, energy and motivation, as well as the lack of proper facilities and equipment, cultural and religious norms, and built environments which make it harder to move about. Collectively, these barriers further exacerbate the issue of demographic inequality.

However, those who exercise the least stand to gain the most by taking small steps and including more movement into their lives.

At Love to Ride, we make exercise fun, easy, and community-oriented. Both new and regular riders benefit from our unique approach to behaviour change and experience long-term, positive health outcomes. Organisations that have implemented Love to Ride programmes have experienced on average 2.4 fewer sick days among staff, with 73% feeling more productive at work. That goes a long way toward building happier, healthier communities!

Cycling is the silver bullet to so many of our modern problems: it improves health, reduces greenhouse gases, improves air quality, and creates safer, better communities for families and businesses alike.

 

In their own words...
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Please reach out to discuss how to easily and quickly get more people moving in your local community - hello@lovetoride.net.


*Get Active: A strategy for the future of sport and physical activity, August 2023, Department of Culture and Media Sport, UK

Interested in learning more?

Want to know how you can leverage a Love to Ride programme to encourage and support more people to ride bikes?

Learn more about Love to Ride for government and municipalities here.

Want to talk with a human?  Find a time that works for you here.

And if you'd like to share your bike story, you can do so on our stories feed - you never know who you may inspire to ride!


Published on: 19, Jun 2024

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