The German Insurance Company AOK, in collaboration with ADFC, an association for cyclists in Germany, and the German Confederation of Trade Unions (TUC), developed a program that encourages companies to motivate their employees to travel to work by bike.
The target is to bring more exercise to everyday life. One of the main focal points is a clear change in the participants’ patterns of behavior. Another goal lies in influencing decision-makers or motivating them towards an attitudinal change in municipal and/or intercompany areas. The promotion of public health is a holistic concept and as such requires measures which interlace accordingly. The campaign provides an excellent example of the kind of collaboration required within individual establishments and society as a whole. The joint experience of the accompanying team competition will have a positive effect on the working climate. The confluence of employer support and employee commitment generates additional workplace satisfaction and motivation. Ultimately, everyone will benefit from this collaboration.
Description of the context:
Demographics, location, main features of the environment
Some important cities where the project take place:
Munich: 1,944,000 inhabitant
Nuremberg: 503,638 inhabitant
Augsburg: 263,313 inhabitant
The weather in Germany presents precipitation throughout the year, although these tend to be higher in the summer months. In winter the average temperature ranges between 1.5 ° C in the lowlands and – 6 ° C in mountainous areas.
The weather in Germany during the summer months has average temperatures of 18 ° C. and 20 ° C. The climate is mild in the lands of Upper Bavaria, where occasionally blows the Alpine föhn, a warm, dry wind from the South, and the Harz, which forms a very particular climate zone, with their cold winds, cool summers and winters with frequent and heavy snowfalls.
Geographically are wooded and mountainous areas.
The action “Mit dem Rad zur Arbeit” (bike to work) is a Germany-wide action which animates for taking part. It is carried out by the German Cycling Club ADFC together with the AOK, an public health insurance.
– AOK: German Insurance Company(Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse, 25 Million members)
– ADFC: Association for cyclists in Germany(114.000 members)
– The German companies that participate in the events, such as the employees of this companies. There are numerous examples proved which have led to an improvement of the bicycle parking facilities, lockers for clothing which can be changed, wash rooms and other complementary offers within various companies. The ADFC itself has, in the meantime, own qualified advisers who can help interested companies professionally. The nationwide and national prelude arrangements generate a big media interest. This is complemented with regional and local arrangements which show how variously the subject can be also moved within the scope of operational health management and mobility management.
-The SPONSORS: This are the companies that puto the money for the rewards and the advertising. They are the maine source for the budget.
Social problems and existing controversies
-Health and medical costs:
Lack of exercise is a major risk factor for ailments associated with modern lifestyles such as respiratory illnesses and obesity. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day will increase general fitness while lowering the risk of illness. It is therefore important to integrate exercise in daily life by, for example, using the bicycle for distances which need to be covered anyway. In addition this 30 minutes would save 554 Euros/person.
The bike is mostly used for traveling at the free time, but people do not use it at everyday travels.
The German people is very concerned about the global warming and the pollution problem, so they make efforts to make real this lifestyle.
Use of the bicycle by the workers is highly conditioned by the level of infrastructure and facilities that their company has. Therefore, that many workers blame the companies not to put on your part to achieve sustainable mobility.
At the first year of the campaign, 57 companies participated but only 19 were bicycle friendly from the employees point of view.
Why have been made these interventions? POTENTIAL
The potential of the action is estimated by the ADFC and the other partners as very high:
-there are around 39 Million employees in Germany
-Ways to work under 10 km: 50%.
-Car quota way to work under 10 km: 50%.
-Possible to change to bike: 70%.
6,825,000 million people could change from car to bike
With better advertisement and an improved collaboration with public employers (cities and local authority districts) on site it is tried to exhaust this potential. There are about 1.1 million people employed by public employers. Besides, the cities and local authority districts have the advantage that they are also responsible for the bicycle transport infrastructure and can do, in addition, by the elective political point well publicly advertisement for the action and the use of bicycles. The action offers for it an ideal and reasonable basis.
The rising numbers of participants show that this way was walked successfully.
Description of the interventions
Stimulated by similar project in Denmark, in 2001 ADFC started a partnership with the health insurance AOK on “Mit dem Rad zur Arbeit” (with bike to work) as a pilot in Bavaria. Since 2005 the action is all over Germany. 101,529 people in 26,523 teams got on their bikes in 2005, with 11,740 companies being involved. Nowadays nearly 170,000 workers more than 12832 companies participated.
The participants have to cycle to work within three months (June – August). Therefore they have to join normally a team of 4 participants within their office/ company. This gives the chance that colleagues motivate others to join the action, so that new participants try to commute by bicycle.
The additional effect is that the participants at the working place can communicate with the others about cycle facilities and other relevant topics. Those teams who managed to use the bicycle at 20 days to work did take part in a lottery about attractive prizes like a cruise at the Mediterranean Sea, valuable bicycles and bicycle accessories.
The participation is free and open to all employees. Especially important are attractive winnings which should entice to take part. This winnings are also helpful for the public relations.
Because teams are to be formed, the chance insists that in the companies the colleagues motivate each other mutually to take part in the action. Even the commuters who will not have used the bicycle up to now, check whether they can commute by bicycle. The limited action period bears the chance that it is tried out more easily than over an longer period.
Participant pamphlets and a own Internet homepage form an essential basis of information.
Employees of the health insurance AOK go within the scope of their consultation activity to the companies and appeal to the responsible persons. Thus many companies can be won to support this action. Announcements are advertised in fitness pamphlets, member’s magazines of ADFC an AOK.
The action is supported financially by the federal traffic ministry, health and other ministries of the federal states and by sponsors. In addition, organizations of the employers are in many federal states also partners like the trade unions. This creates a wide base and a high public perception.
Success or failure?
For many years the operational health management wins in meaning.
The companies have recognized that healthy employees are already important for cost reasons and face thus of an active health precaution openly. Hence, the action “bike to work” hits on open partners.
The health service is familiar to influence behavior. With the classical traffic policy this is only seldom tried in favor of the bicycle traffic.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to integrate the health service even stronger into the action. Single federal states have this already successfully done. Thus the action is integrated, for example, in Bavaria firmly in the health program of the health ministry in the operational health precaution and is also supported accordingly financially. At the national level this is still absent until today.
In what refers to the level of bike-friendly companies has increased from 30% to 51%, improving quality and possibilities to go by bike to work.
It appears that the “bike to work” action has good chances also throughout Europe. Today those or similar actions take place in the following countries (partially only on the regional level): Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy.
From view of the ECF “bike to work” actions should become a steady component even of the European bicycle traffic support.
Why it helps us?
This project is not something material, is a way to educate people in the use of the bike not only as an element of fun the leisure time, but as a means of locomotion more, which can meet the same mission than a vehicle in less than 10 km everyday journeys.
It is clear that the creation of a bike path in Alicante has not changed largely mediated the bike just in time free thought, but can that you focusing on projects success, such as bike to work, and how it works on the companies and individuals, we can extrapolate some parts of the program into our city. In this way we will try to educate people in the use of the bicycle, for personal gain and benefit of all.
Is also very useful The way that economically is articulated the entire program, as part of promoting private combined with State and comes to each one of the cities in a personalized way, getting sponsors that favor the economy of each city.