Sydney’s commuting cyclists are twice as happy as people who drive, walk or use public transport to get to work, according to University of Sydney research.
The study of 846 inner city Sydney commuters reports that cycling commuters have better overall quality of life and health satisfaction than public transport users, walkers and motorists, after statistically adjusting for other possible explanations such as age, sex, education and income levels. The study is one of the first in the world to investigate the relationship between quality of life and transport by comparing different travel modes.
"The benefits include the mental health benefits of being active outdoors, a greater control over and predictability of their commuting journey, a sense of fun and a way to save money," said Melanie Crane, who led the research. "This may be why cycling commuters arrive for work in a happier mind frame than other commuters.”
However, the report's authors also flagged that Sydney was regarded as "one of the least cycling-friendly cities in the world".
“Commuting by bicycle in Sydney, like many other cities in Australia, is inhibited by a lack of separated bicycle paths and safe routes, which negatively impact quality of life and people’s willingness to adopt cycling as a commuting option,” said co-author Professor Chris Rissel.