Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Biking to Work = Workplace wellness

From Chicago:
Covered previously on this blog, Grist's Elly Blue continues her series on the economics of bicycling with "Pedaling Away From the Healthcare Crisis."  The new column makes the case for active transportation as a large part of the answer to solving economic hardships stemming the nation's enormous healthcare costs. 
Fifteen percent of our entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) -- according to Grist -- is spent on healthcare.  And 20 percent of that goes to managing type 2 diabetes, alone. Yes, that's right, 3 percent of our GDP is spent on managing one chronic disease that is directly attributable to lack of exercise and poor diet.
That's as much as $400,000 in additional costs per sufferer, per lifetime. And that burden is borne by the providers, workplaces, and ultimately, you.
Those are sobering numbers. And yet, at the same time, it is an incredibly empowering realization.
Here's the good news: We can make a big dent in this trend by getting more people to use active transportation during their commute. 
You can get the ball rolling at your workplace by participating in Active Trans' Bicycle Commuter Challenge, which takes place during Bike to Work Week, June 11-17. Registration opens very soon; join us as a team leader during Bike to Work Week this year and show your colleagues how it's done. And if you are a CEO, department head, or human resources leader, consider giving your organization's team leader the full-weight of your support through promotions and incentives.

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