ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cycling is considered to be a highly beneficial sport for significantly enhancing cardiovascular fitness in individuals, yet studies show little or no corresponding improvements in bone mass. METHODS: A scientific literature search on studies discussing bone mass and bone metabolism in cyclists was performed to collect all relevant published material up to April 2012. Descriptive, cross-sectional, longitudinal and interventional studies were all reviewed. Inclusion criteria were met by 31 studies. RESULTS: Heterogeneous studies in terms of gender, age, data source, group of comparison, cycling level or modality practiced among others factors showed minor but important differences in results. Despite some controversial results, it has been observed that adult road cyclists participating in regular training have low bone mineral density in key regions (for example, lumbar spine). Conversely, other types of cycling (such as mountain biking), or combination with other sports could reduce this unsafe effect. These results cannot yet be explained by differences in dietary patterns or endocrine factors. CONCLUSIONS: From our comprehensive survey of the current available literature it can be concluded that road cycling does not appear to confer any significant osteogenic benefit. The cause of this may be related to spending long hours in a weight-supported position on the bike in combination with the necessary enforced recovery time that involves a large amount of time sitting or lying supine, especially at the competitive level.
Project description:Background:Undisputedly, traffic crashes constitute a public health concern whose impact and importance have been increasing during the past few decades. Specifically, road safety data have systematically shown how cyclists are highly vulnerable to suffering traffic crashes and severe injuries derived from them. Furthermore, although the empirical evidence is still very limited in this regard, in addition to other human factors involved in cycling crashes, distractions while cycling appear to be a major contributor to the road risk of cyclists. Objectives:The main objectives of this study were, first, to explore the prevalence and trends of cycling distractions within an international sample of bike users, and second, to determine the influence of such distractions on road crashes suffered by cyclists, simultaneously considering the explanatory role of risky behaviors (errors and traffic violations) as potentially mediating variables between cycling distractions and traffic crashes. Methods:For this cross-sectional study, we analyzed the data obtained from 1,064 cyclists-61.2% male and 38.8% female-from 20 different countries, who answered an on-line questionnaire on cycling-related features, habits, behaviors and accidents. Results:The prevalence of different cycling distractions oscillated between 34.7% and 83.6%. The most common distractions were those related to the behavior of other users, physical elements of the road, weather conditions and phone calls. Age trends and differences were also found, thus establishing a positive association between age and distractibility during cycling. Furthermore, the effect of distractions on traffic crashes of cyclists was significant when tested together with age, risk perception and risky behaviors on the road. Conclusion:The results of this study support the hypotheses that distractions have a major prevalence among bike users, and that they play a significant role in the prediction of the traffic crash rates of cyclists, through the mediation of risky behaviors.
Project description:Increasing population levels of cycling has the potential to improve public health by increasing physical activity. As cyclists have begun using smartphone apps to record trips, researchers have begun using data generated from these apps to monitor cycling levels and evaluate cycling-related interventions. The goal of this research is to assess the extent to which app-using cyclists represent the broader cycling population to inform whether use of app-generated data in bike-infrastructure intervention research may bias effect estimates. Using an intercept survey, we asked 95 cyclists throughout Atlanta, Georgia, USA about their use of GPS-based smartphone apps to record bike rides. We asked respondents to draw their common bike routes, from which we assessed the proportion of ridership captured by app-generated data sources overall and on types of bicycle infrastructure. We measured socio-demographics and bike-riding habits, including cyclist type, ride frequency, and most common ride purpose. Cyclists who used smartphone apps to record their bike rides differed from those who did not across some but not all socio-demographic characteristics and differed in several bike-riding attributes. App users rode more frequently, self-classified as stronger riders, and rode proportionately more for leisure. Although groups had similar infrastructure preferences at the person level, differences appeared at the level of the estimated ride, where, for example, the proportion of ridership captured by an app on protected bike lanes was lower than the overall proportion of ridership captured. A sample calculation illustrated how such differences may induce selection bias in smartphone-data-based research on infrastructure and motor-vehicle-cyclist crash risk. We illustrate in the sample scenario how the bias can be corrected, assuming inverse-probability-of-selection weights can be accurately specified. The presented bias-adjustment method may be useful for future bike-infrastructure research using smartphone-generated data.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Regular cycling plays an important role in increasing physical activity levels but raises safety concerns for many people. While cyclists bear a higher risk of injury than most other types of road users, the risk differs geographically. Auckland, New Zealand's largest urban region, has a higher injury risk than the rest of the country. This paper identified underlying factors at individual, neighbourhood and environmental levels and assessed their relative contribution to this risk differential. METHODS: The Taupo Bicycle Study involved 2590 adult cyclists recruited in 2006 and followed over a median period of 4.6 years through linkage to four national databases. The Auckland participants were compared with others in terms of baseline characteristics, crash outcomes and perceptions about environmental determinants of cycling. Cox regression modelling for repeated events was performed with multivariate adjustments. RESULTS: Of the 2554 participants whose addresses could be mapped, 919 (36%) resided in Auckland. The Auckland participants were less likely to be M?ori but more likely to be socioeconomically advantaged and reside in an urban area. They were less likely to cycle for commuting and off-road but more likely to cycle in the dark and in a bunch, use a road bike and use lights in the dark. They had a higher risk of on-road crashes (hazard ratio: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.22, 1.76), of which 53% (95% CI: 20%, 72%) was explained by baseline differences, particularly related to cycling off-road, in the dark and in a bunch and residing in urban areas. They were more concerned about traffic volume, speed and drivers' behaviour. CONCLUSIONS: The excess crash risk in Auckland was explained by cycling patterns, urban residence and factors associated with the region's car-dominated transport environment.
Project description:Despite the numerous benefits associated with sport practice, many children and adolescents end up quitting it year after year, with a stable dropout rate between 10 and 19 years of age. Among the causes of sport abandonment, the scientific literature highlights the presence of burnout as a fundamental factor. In this regard, the aim of the present study was to investigate the levels of the three components of sport burnout-emotional and physical exhaustion, reduced sense of accomplishment, and sport devaluation-reported by a sample of young (former) athletes, depending on whether their sport abandonment was relative (i.e., change to another sport modality) or definitive. In particular, participants were former agonist road cyclists, who have been divided into three groups on the basis of what they did after abandoning road bicycle racing, namely: (a) those still involved in cycling, either in a different specialty (e.g., mountain bike) or with a different role (e.g., coach for kids); (b) those who started practicing a different sport; and (c) those who definitively abandoned sports. The general hypothesis was that, with respect to those who changed sport and those who definitively abandoned it, those still involved in cycling would report experiencing lower levels of the three burnout components during the last year practicing it. To test this hypothesis, the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (ABQ; Raedeke and Smith, 2001) was administered to 85 young former road cyclists. The results seem to support the hypothesis for two out of the three components, namely, emotional and physical exhaustion and sport devaluation; on the other hand, for reduced sense of accomplishment, no difference among the three groups emerged. Further research is needed to deepen the understanding of such processes, also in relation with other relevant constructs; yet, the results of the present study should already raise the awareness of sport organizations on the need to deal with this and related phenomena by adopting appropriate strategies to ensure the well-being of young athletes, thus trying to reduce early dropout.
Project description:Electric bike (E-bike)-related deaths have been increasing rapidly in China and such injuries may be partly attributable to unsafe riding practice.To describe potentially unsafe riding behaviours among electric bikers (E-bikers) and to investigate factors influencing these practices in China.In September 2012, a cross-sectional observation study including a speed measurement component was conducted in Wuzhong (an urban district) and Zhangjiagang (a rural district) of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Hand-held radar speed metres were used to read travelling speeds of E-bikes and a pro forma observation checklist was used to collect data on road riding practice. Mixed-effect logistic regressions were used to calculate adjusted ORs and 95% CIs for the association between speeding, road rule violations and helmet use and their influencing factors.Among 800 E-bikes with a speed reading, 70.9% exceeded the designed speed limit of 20 km/h. Among a further 20 647 E-bikers observed, 38.3% did not comply with the road rules when entering intersections; and only 2.2% wore helmets. No regional variation was identified between urban and rural areas. Male E-bikers were associated with more speeding and road rule violations, whereas riding a pedal-equipped E-bike was associated with less road rule violations and less helmet use.Unsafe riding practices such as speeding, road rule violations and lack of helmet use were commonplace among E-bikers, especially among men. The study findings indicate that measures aimed at improving E-bike safety are required in China.
Project description:It has been demonstrated that, on their own, both exercise and stimulation from the environment can improve cognitive function and well-being in older adults. The combined effect of exercising in the outdoor environment on psychological function is less well studied. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of an outdoor cycling intervention on cognitive function and mental health and well-being in older adults. A total of 100 older adults took part in the study (aged 50-83), 26 of which were non-cycling controls, 36 were conventional pedal cyclists and 38 were participants using an e-bike (a bike fitted with an electric motor to provide assistance with pedaling), as part of a larger project (www.cycleboom.org). Participants took part in the study for an eight-week period, with cycling participants required to cycle at least three times a week for thirty minutes in duration for each cycle ride. Cognitive function and well-being were measured before and after the intervention period. For executive function, namely inhibition (the Stroop task) and updating (Letter Updating Task), both cycling groups improved in accuracy after the intervention compared to non-cycling control participants. E-bike participants also improved in processing speed (reaction times in go trials of the Stop-It task) after the intervention compared to non-cycling control participants. Finally, e-bike participants improved in their mental health score after the intervention compared to non-cycling controls as measured by the SF-36. This suggests that there may be an impact of exercising in the environment on executive function and mental health. Importantly, we showed a similar (sometimes larger) effect for the e-bike group compared to the pedal cyclists. This suggests that it is not just the physical activity component of cycling that is having an influence. Both pedal cycles and e-bikes can enable increased physical activity and engagement with the outdoor environment with e-bikes potentially providing greater benefits.
Project description:To investigate the use of helmets for cyclists choosing to use BIXI bikes in comparison to personal bike riders in the City of Toronto.Cross-sectional study design.Cyclists were observed in Toronto, Canada.Of the 6732 sample size, 306 cyclists on BIXI bikes and 6426 personal bike riders were observed.The outcome of interest was helmet use.Overall, 50.3% of cyclists wore helmets. The proportion of BIXI bike riders using helmets was significantly lower than the proportion of helmet users on personal bikes (20.9% vs 51.7%, respectively, p<0.0001).Although the BIXI bike programme has provided an alternate means for Torontonians to use a bicycle, cyclists using BIXI bikes are much less likely to wear a helmet. Since the prevalence of helmet use in cyclists in general is already low, helmet use should be especially promoted in BIXI bike riders in order to promote a safe and healthy environment for cyclists.
Project description:Introduction:Electrically assisted bicycles (e-bikes) have become increasingly popular in the past decade. This review aimed to scope the literature to identify what is known about the frequency and duration of e-bike use, their impact on travel behaviour, the purposes for which e-bikes are used and factors associated with e-bike use. In addition, the review aimed to identify gaps in the literature and highlight future research priorities. Methods:A scoping review of published and unpublished literature in any language. Relevant articles were identified through searching six databases, two grey literature platforms and reference lists. Searches were conducted until August 2019. Data were extracted using a standardised extraction form and descriptive and narrative results are provided. Results:Seventy-six studies met the inclusion criteria. The volume of research has increased since 2017 and primarily examines personal e-bike use, as opposed to e-bike share/rental schemes or organizational e-bike initiatives. The use of e-bikes increased the frequency and duration of cycling compared to conventional cycling and may help overcome barriers associated with conventional cycling. The uptake in e-cycling largely substitutes for conventional cycling or private car journeys, though the degree of substitution depends on the primary transport mode prior to e-bike acquisition. E-bikes are primarily used for utilitarian reasons, though older adults also engage in recreational e-cycling. Research priorities include quantitatively examining e-bike use, their impact on overall transport behaviour and identifying determinants of e-cycling to inform intervention and policy. Conclusions:This review suggests that the personal use of e-bikes is associated with a reduction in motorized vehicle use, which has potential positive impacts on the environment and health. The impacts of e-bike share schemes and workplace initiatives are less well understood. Evidence describing the purposes for which e-bikes are used, and the factors associated with usage, are useful to inform e-cycling promotion policy.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Communities across the United States have been reforming their zoning codes to create pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods with increased street connectivity, mixed use and higher density, open space, transportation infrastructure, and a traditional neighborhood structure. Zoning code reforms include new urbanist zoning such as the SmartCode, form-based codes, transects, transportation and pedestrian-oriented developments, and traditional neighborhood developments. PURPOSE:To examine the relationship of zoning code reforms and more active living--oriented zoning provisions with adult active travel to work via walking, biking, or by using public transit. METHODS:Zoning codes effective as of 2010 were compiled for 3,914 municipal-level jurisdictions located in 471 counties and 2 consolidated cities in 48 states and the District of Columbia, and that collectively covered 72.9% of the U.S. population. Zoning codes were evaluated for the presence of code reform zoning and nine pedestrian-oriented zoning provisions (1?=?yes): sidewalks, crosswalks, bike-pedestrian connectivity, street connectivity, bike lanes, bike parking, bike-pedestrian trails/paths, mixed-use development, and other walkability/pedestrian orientation. A zoning scale reflected the number of provisions addressed (out of 10). Five continuous outcome measures were constructed using 2010-2014 American Community Survey municipal-level 5-year estimates to assess the percentage of workers: walking, biking, walking or biking, or taking public transit to work OR engaged in any active travel to work. Regression models controlled for municipal-level socioeconomic characteristics and a GIS-constructed walkability scale and were clustered on county with robust standard errors. RESULTS:Adjusted models indicated that several pedestrian-oriented zoning provisions were statistically associated (p?<?0.05 or lower) with increased rates of walking, biking, or engaging in any active travel (walking, biking, or any active travel) to work: code reform zoning, bike parking (street furniture), bike lanes, bike-pedestrian trails/paths, other walkability, mixed-use zoning, and a higher score on the zoning scale. Public transit use was associated with code reform zoning and a number of zoning measures in Southern jurisdictions but not in non-Southern jurisdictions. CONCLUSION:As jurisdictions revisit their zoning and land use policies, they may want to evaluate the pedestrian-orientation of their zoning codes so that they can plan for pedestrian improvements that will help to encourage active travel to work.
Project description:Cycling in urban environments provides many benefits to people. However, planning of cycling infrastructures in large cities faces numerous challenges and requires better understanding of both the factors enabling cycling as well as barriers to it, determined by particular local context. While there is a growing body of research that tackle the bike transport related questions in Western Europe and the USA, there is relatively little research on that in Central Eastern Europe (CEE), in post-communist countries. In this study we used qualitative and quantitative methods to explore urban cyclists and non-cyclists opinions about the cycling, the perceived problems and obstacles, and perception of the on-going changes in bicycle transportation system in Warsaw, Poland. Although many people see potential advantages of cycling, it is mostly perceived as a leisure time activity. Those who do utilitarian cycling are more acutely aware of the benefits, such as rapidity and flexibility of this mean of transport. The main perceived barriers are linked to lack of good cycling infrastructure in the city, the feeling of insecurity linked to the behaviour of drivers, and to maintenance during winter. In conclusion, our research highlights both the opportunities and challenges linked to the development of improved cycle transportation system, suggesting the need for a range of policies, from the infrastructure improvements and comprehensive planning of the whole transportation system, to improving the driving culture that would support feeling of security of the cyclists.