Soft mobility and health: arguments to increase companies’ awareness
Soft or active mobility, a common societal challenge?
As a reminder, so-called soft mobility includes active modes of transport, i.e. those that require human strength (walking, cycling, scooters, rollerblades, etc.). But they also include public transport and certain types of vehicles, since buses, streetcars as well as electric cars, scooters and bicycles, also meet the above-mentioned challenges. Generally, these modes of transport are also classified as sustainable mobility because of their main objective: reducing CO2 emissions. Do you get it? 😉
But in the end, the absolute priority of all these new mobilities, in a climate situation that has become catastrophic, remains the reduction of polluting gas emission and thus… the health of our dear planet.
Soft mobility: a major responsibility for companies
According to INSEE, 74% of the working population still travel by car for their home-work journeys. Despite this figure, a change in habits is beginning to emerge. The “Mobilités des personnes” survey conducted by the Ministry of Ecological Transition shows that in ten years, car use has declined slightly. Another study, this time conducted by the Observatory of Emerging Mobilities, shows that employees are starting to leave their cars in the garage in favor of walking or cycling.
In order to be part of this eco-mobile approach, companies have a fundamental role to play in reducing their ecological footprint and encouraging their employees to change their habits, without injunction. For several years now, French CSR policies have been emerging in this direction:
🏠 Organization of telecommuting
🚲 Provision of a bicycle room and sometimes the loan of a bicycle for the home-work journey
💵 Sustainable Mobility Package that helps finance a less polluting mode of transportation
🚋 50% of the cost of public transport tickets
For companies, these actions represent a real return on investment but also a token of confidence for employees. They help to promote the employer brand and improve the employee experience, which has been essential for several years. In addition, the Health at Work Act (a French new law), which came into effect on March 31 of this year, has provided a legal framework for the Quality of Life at Work. And measures in this direction will become mandatory in the coming months.
The benefits of soft mobility on employees' health
The ANSES statistics speak for themselves. 95% of the population is exposed to a risk of deterioration of their health, due to a lack of physical activity and too much time spent sitting.
And in the professional sphere, musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) are the most common. MSDs have been the number one occupational disease in France for the past 20 years and represent 87% of the diseases covered by French Social Security. Of course, the rate of absenteeism is exploding and it is a real financial drain for companies.
Encouraging and promoting the practice of physical activity in companies, such as the use of soft mobility, has many benefits: financial and, more importantly, on the health of employees. Walking or biking to work on a daily basis is already a good way to establish a routine. And regularity is probably the most powerful weapon against physical inactivity, before any notion of intensity.
And the benefits on the mental health of employees are tremendous since physical activity reduces anxiety, stress and other psychosocial risks. It favors concentration, positive thoughts and therefore… productivity! But for this to be effective over time, shouldn’t we consider the use of incentives?
Gamification: a long-term driver to anchor soft mobility in people's habits?
How can you instill a real motivation durably ? Gamification is an excellent way to do this. As a reminder, it is about using the universal motivational techniques of games and transposing them to “serious” subjects, such as health. Games have always been more than just a way to have fun. Indeed, what could be more enjoyable than collecting points, winning awards and challenging colleagues? And if you apply these age-old techniques to soft mobility awareness campaigns, the results may surprise you. Employees are literally taken in by the game, they really want to walk, they change their habits gradually.
At Kiplin, we use connected games to instill the motivation to (re)acquire a taste for physical activity over time. If you want to take advantage of the European Mobility and Sustainable Development Weeks to raise awareness among your employees, don’t hesitate to write to us to book your back-to-school event!