Belfast Telegraph

Chris Boardman urges Britons to enjoy 'winter on two wheels'

Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman has urged British workers to get on their bikes and enjoy "winter on two wheels".

It comes as a survey, released to mark Cycle to Work Day, revealed that more than a third of people spend half an hour or less outside a day during autumn and winter.

Boardman, 48, who won individual pursuit gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games, called on workers to resist going "into hibernation" as the cold weather creeps in.

The average British worker spends 100 minutes outdoors a day in the summer compared to just 66 minutes in autumn and winter, the research commissioned by Cyclescheme found.

Of the 2000 employees surveyed, 66% said they spent less than an hour outside every day during the autumn and winter months, while 34% said they spent less than half an hour outdoors.

Two fifths of workers (39%) admitted they adjusted their commute and almost one third (28%) said they skipped lunch to avoid being outside in winter.

But more than two thirds (67%) of people said not being outdoors enough in the winter negatively affected their health, 68% said it affected their mood and 56% said it caused them to put on weight.

Boardman said: "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 blows 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."

He added: "September and October are the best month 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."

Tens of thousands of workers are expected to take part in the fourth annual Cycle to Work Day on Wednesday, organised by Cyclescheme and sponsored by Halfords.

Stephen Holt, of, said: "We know an active commute can have many benefits for employees from weight loss, increased energy and mood levels to better performance at work, but it can also help people get some much needed time outdoors, particularly in the cooler months when hiding indoors is so appealing."