Study: Of All Transportation Modes, Cycling Evokes the Most Positive Mood

by Angie Schmitt
Friday, May 30, 2014

Source: StreetsBlog

People are in a better mood while biking than driving or riding the bus, according to a new study. Photo: Richard Masoner/Flickr

People are in a better mood while biking than driving or riding the bus, according to a new study. Photo: Richard Masoner/Flickr

Bike travel is the mode most likely to put a smile on your face.

That’s the finding from a new academic study published in the Springer journal “Transportation.” Researchers from Clemson and the University of Pennsylvania surveyed 13,000 randomly selected people about their mood during random activities throughout the day.

Contrary to previous research, they found that mood was not significantly affected simply because people were traveling from place to place; those in transport were about as happy as average during the day.

When it came to different modes of transportation, the impacts were slight and not statistically significant. Still, researchers found that cycling elicited the most positive emotions. They also said this might reflect that people who are generally more fit and enthusiastic are attracted to biking in the first place.

The next happiest group of travelers was passengers in cars, followed by car drivers. Meanwhile, the most frustrated class were those who moved around on transit. The researchers said part of that negative feeling might come from the fact that transit riders are more likely to be commuting to work, which is a less enjoyable task across all modes.

The authors of the study say this last finding might suggest a need to invest more in transit riders’ “emotional experience,” as opposed to frequency and travel speed. But negative feelings experienced by transit riders might well stem from the kind of headaches caused by underinvestment. And positive feelings that come with driving, to some extent, might result from the enormous expenditures that go into making that activity as convenient as possible.


Before we can take this ‘study‘ at face value we will have to explain why this thread on the Chicago ChainLink Forum is the most active of all time:

Nothing else on this forum is as frequently visited. It is a place where ‘venting‘ is standard. And I use that word in place of much stronger and more accurate ones.

Judging from this thread Urban Cyclists are living in dread most of the time. They are either afraid of motorists and their intentions towards them or hateful enough to want to destroy property or worse. Before you can claim that cycling makes you feel wonderful, you will have to define more carefully the circumstances under which this is measured.