Cyclists use riding to boost mental health during lockdown

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A NEW survey commissioned by BikeRadar.com, together with charity partner Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), has revealed that although lockdown has had a detrimental effect on cyclists’ mental health, most are heading out onto open roads, pathways and tracks to boost their mood.

While over a third of BikeRadar users (35 per cent) have admitted to struggling with mental health issues, with 38 per cent saying their mental health has deteriorated since lockdown began, almost 9 in 10 (87 per cent) of respondents agree that cycling has a positive impact on their mental health with most cyclists heading out on the open road for head-clearing ride during lockdown. An overwhelming 91 per cent of cyclists would recommend cycling to improve or manage mental health to friends and family.

“Getting outdoors, tuning into our surroundings and hitting the open road can help us to take a break from all that’s happening.”

CALM CEO, Simon Gunning

Content Director at BikeRadar Rob Spedding said: “It’s certainly no surprise that during these unprecedented and uncertain times that many people across the UK feel that their mental health has deteriorated. And cyclists, of course, are not immune.

“What seems clear from our survey, though, is that exercise and – of course – riding a bike in particular, has proven to be a great help to many people as we’ve come to terms with life under lockdown with 87 per cent of our readers telling us that riding a bike during lockdown has helped boost or maintain good mental health.

“And at a time when government are actively encouraging more of us to ride to help ease pressure on public transport, it’s also clear that our readers believe that people who don’t already ride should be getting on their bikes too.

Maintain

“Over 90 per cent say they’d recommend cycling to their family and friends as a way to improve or maintain positive mental health. So, the message is simple – go for a ride!”

The cyclists polled are also taking positive steps in addressing mental health worries with more than 60 per cent confiding in friends and family about their mental health and 27 per cent seeking help from a GP or a health practitioner.

CALM CEO, Simon Gunning said: “In these uncertain times many people are feeling the impact of lockdown, and our helpline is needed more than ever.

“Since lockdown we’ve seen a 40% rise in the use of our life-saving services, answering over 21,000 calls, and webchats and directly preventing 93 suicides.

“Our physical and mental health are intrinsically linked, and cycling is not only a great way to keep fit and healthy, it also has a powerful effect on our mental wellbeing.

“What seems clear from our survey, though, is that exercise and – of course – riding a bike in particular, has proven to be a great help.”

BikeRadar

“Getting outdoors, tuning into our surroundings and hitting the open road can help us to take a break from all that’s happening and that’s vitally important in these weird times. If you or someone you know is struggling CALM’s free and confidential helpline and webchat are available from 5pm to midnight, 7 days a week providing practical, anonymous and non-judgemental support and advice, whatever you’re going through.”

Habits

The survey has also shown that some cycling habits have already changed, with almost half of those sampled that still cycle (46%),saying that they have created, or looking to create, an indoor set up at home with 29% pledging to incorporate it after lockdown ends.

This Bank Holiday Monday BikeRadar are launching the Power of 8  – a campaign in support of leading suicide prevention charity CALM. Just £8 funds one potentially life-saving call to CALM’s helpline.

CALM is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK and the cause of 18 deaths every day. CALM’s support services include a free and confidential helpline and webchat for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems. Just £8 funds one potentially life-saving call to the CALM helpline.

For more information go to https://www.bikeradar.com/news/calm-power-of-8/

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