Friday 12th May 2017 
Royal London Hospital | Nurses Cycling Club
Extensive research has shown that nurses have an increased risk for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), along with a high prevalence of obesity, poor eating habits and insufficient physical activity1.

In December 2016 Access Sport approached Barts Health Trust about a new initiative looking to address their female nurse workforce by setting up a Women’s Cycling Club at the Royal London Hospital (RLH) in Whitechapel. Research conducted by Barts Health themselves showed that 126 women from the RLH reported that cycling sessions would encourage them to actively travel more as part of their commute and between sites.

I’ve been trying to find suitable and affordable sessions to learn to ride for the last 5 years and this is the first group that is regular enough and where I feel safe and not embarrassed.

Since this club started we have already seen positive changes to attitudes and behaviours around cycling and health.

Of those that have attended:

  • 50% were classified as previously inactive, meaning they took part in less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week2
  • 75% could not ride a bike prior to the sessions
  • The other 25% reported not feeling confident riding before the sessions started

The sessions are varied ranging from group games, to bike handling techniques, short led rides, road safety and route planning. They are led by Mike McSherry, a Cycling instructor, who delivers sessions to groups and individuals across the capital.

‘I never would have imagined myself going out on the road before the sessions, but this week we did a local ride as a group through the backstreets and it was brilliant. I can definitely see myself going out cycling.’


More recently the Nurses Cycling Club decided to meet at Hyde Park and experience using Santander Bikes, with Mike there to induct them for the first time. Before leading the nurses on a ride through the park allowing them to relax and enjoy their local settings whilst building on their cycling skills.

‘The ride helped us to get used to being in a crowd, walkers, kids, dogs, other cyclists and using cycling lanes. We learnt how to hire a Santander Bike and dock them again and get a good feel for how they ride. It was perfect for us’

To get involved in the Nurses Cycling Club or for more information on female cycling or female BMX opportunities please contact Harriet Plows at [email protected] or 020 7993 9883.

1Nurses’ lifestyle behaviours, health priorities and barriers to living a healthy lifestyle: a qualitative descriptive study. Phiri, P. P, Draper, C. E., Lambert, E. V. and Kolbe-Alexander, T. L. 2014. BMC Nurs. 13 (38).

2Sport England definition of inactivity