12,400 IKEA US workers were recently surprised with an interesting holiday bonus, a bike! The IKEA Employees across the US had no idea what was in store for them when they came to work on December 7, and mysterious trucks rolled up with bicycles in tow.
While there have already been some jokes made at the expense of the quality of the bike, bike snobs need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. 12,400 bikes, at even 100 dollars a piece thats $1,240,000! While the bikes aren’t going to hold up to any heavy long term use with out some serious work, the fact remains that if the gesture gets even one person interested in cycling and improving their health, it was a success.
The gift of a bike is not the only newsworthy item here, but more importantly the message IKEA is trying to send, that commuting by bike is good for you and good for the environment. Not many companies are going to make this part of their business philosophy, and then actually back it up with a free bike for every employee.
All in all, I think it is pretty cool that even in this economy IKEA is rewarding their employees with not only a Christmas bonus, but a thoughtful one aimed at keeping them healthy and happy throughout the new year.
Check out the full press release after the break!
IKEA US Says Thank You to All Its 12,400 Co-Workers with a Surprise ‘New Bike’ Holiday Gift
It’s Good for the Employees & Good for the Environment Too!
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The big reveal takes place today. Truck doors will open, bicycles will be unloaded and the surprise will be disclosed. IKEA US co-workers across the country will then find out that each and every one has a brand new bike to take or ride home.
“It’s been a good year for IKEA, so what better way to celebrate our success than to thank our IKEA co-workers who made this happen. Our big reveal today will be a fun day as we unload 12,400 new bikes at IKEA US locations. This is our way of saying ‘thanks IKEA co-workers for being strongly committed to working together.’ We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport,” commented Mike Ward, IKEA US President.
With a strong commitment to good health and being environmentally conscious, IKEA selected an all terrain bike as the holiday co-worker gift for 2010. What makes it even more special is that the delivery of bikes is a total surprise for all co-workers. Hopefully, all will stay mum until today/Tuesday, December 7th at 9:30 am (each store’s local time).
Why a bike? Because when it comes to sustainable transport, a bicycle is a great option. And when it comes to healthy living, riding a bike is one of the best cardio forms of exercise. Here are some facts.
- Bicycling is an excellent cardio-vascular exercise, which promotes heart health. Just like in any other aerobic workout, bicycling makes your heart pump harder. Also blood circulation increases and eventually, your resting heart rate will decrease. (Helium.com; Benefits of Bicycling by Erich Rosenberger M.D.)
- On average, commuting 10 miles a day by bike in 30 minutes, instead of driving a car burns 110,250 calories (keeping off 30 pounds of fat each year). (Sources: Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, RailstoTrails.org, Fitsugar.com, Adultbicycling.com
- Cycling just 20 miles a week can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. (Sources: Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, RailstoTrails.org, Fitsugar.com, Adultbicycling.com
- Countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates. (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)
For Sustainable living, bicycling also has many benefits.
- Bicycling reduces polluting emissions. A short, four mile round trip by a bike keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (WorldWatch Institute, www.bicyclinginfo.org)
- In 2001 walking and bicycling accounted for 23 billion miles traveled, worth billions of dollars in fuel savings alone. (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)
- In one year, riding a bike versus owning and driving a car will save an individual $8,000 in gasoline and general car maintenance and insurance costs. (Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia)