Push Power for Hobart Workers

Nineteen percent of Tasmanians ride in a typical week but only 6% ride for transport.

On Ride2Work Day, Bicycle Tasmania and the Heart Foundation are urging workplaces and government to promote physical activity by making it easier to use active transport instead of the car.

Employers searching for new ways to promote healthier, greener workplaces are being encouraged to ditch cars and use “office bikes” to get to and from meetings.

Staff at the Heart Foundation use the two-wheel mode of transport to get around the CBD and near-city locations.

Heart Foundation CEO Graeme Lynch said workplaces can play an important role in making it easier for employees to be more active.

"Heart Foundation staff bikes are used instead of a pool car to get to locations in the city," he said.

“Simple initiatives such as bike storage and showers encourage staff to use active transport.

“With around 40% of car trips being less than 3km there is, for most of us, plenty of opportunity to walk or cycle instead of driving.

“More than a third of the Tasmanian population do very little or no exercise at all and 64% of us are either overweight or obese.

“The trend is also beginning in childhood, with 48% of Tasmanian students not walking or cycling to or from school and almost a quarter of Tasmanian children are now overweight or obese,” Mr Lynch said.

However, Bicycle Tasmania says workplaces can only do so much and it’s up to government to invest more in infrastructure.

“The key to increasing bike riding is better bicycle infrastructure that puts cyclists and pedestrians before cars,” said Alasdair Doyle from Bicycle Tasmania.

“Investment in bike facilities is crucial to the health of Tasmania and in economic terms, it’s a no-brainer with the health benefit for each kilometre cycled at 75 cents.  

“No other transportation investment can deliver physical, social and economic benefit to so many people,” he said.

“Without appropriate infrastructure, like connected and safe cycling routes and traffic calming measures, children and families cannot and will not ride.

“Those who lack confidence on a bicycle will be discouraged if an appropriate bike network of infrastructure is not in place to support them,” he added.

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