Group effort generates more cycling interest

December 23, 2013 by Kerry Faulkner
Group effort generates more cycling interest
Individuals were asked about their perceived ability to cycle under a variety of conditions; when tired, when they had social or work commitments or family support. Credit: Ben Lawson

Improving an individual's self-belief and social support are the most useful strategies to promote the uptake of cycling in Australia, according to a study of Perth residents.

In comparison, the neighbourhood plays little part in people taking up for recreation or transport.

The findings are part of the RESIDE study, a five-year project by UWA's School of Population Health aimed at evaluating the impact that urban design has on walking, cycling, use of public transport and sense of community.

The overarching RESIDE study followed 1800 Perth people in 74 new housing developments, collecting data before they moved house and after.

VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing expert Dr Hannah Badland says the investigation of people's uptake of cycling for recreation and for transport is an extension of the RESIDE project.

Dr Badland says the ultimate aim of the RESIDE project is to guide future urban policy and neighbourhood development to create more supportive cycling environments.

In the meantime, the cycling study results shows there is an urgent need for decision makers in health, environment and transport to understand how to design interventions to encourage people to start cycling.

"Cycling has a range of health, environment and transport benefits, yet levels of cycling are extremely low in Australia," Dr Badland says.

"Public health models recognise that there are multiple levels – individual, social and physical environments where interventions need to occur and the RESIDE dataset allow us the capture these and relate them to the uptake of cycling."

The findings are reported in Elsevier; Socio-ecological predictors to the uptake of cycling for recreation and transport in adults: Results from the RESIDE study.

The individual, social and environmental factors were evaluated in the study which surveyed 909 people before and after they moved to the new neighbourhoods.

Individuals were asked about their perceived ability to cycle under a variety of conditions; when tired, when they had social or work commitments or family support.

In addition, they evaluated neighbourhood variables like interesting features in the neighbourhood, greenery, busy roads and the number of cul-de-sacs.

The study found improving self efficacy and appear to be the most useful strategies for promoting the uptake of cycling while the neighbourhood environment had little influence on cycling uptake for recreation and no impact for transport.

However Dr Badland says the transport finding may be explained by built environment features along the commute route or end destination having a more significant role that the built environment of the local neighbourhood.

Explore further: Walking to work cuts risk of diabetes and high blood pressure

Related Stories

Walking to work cuts risk of diabetes and high blood pressure

August 6, 2013
People who walk to work are around 40 per cent less likely to have diabetes as those who drive, according to a new study.

Walking or cycling to work linked to health benefits in India

June 11, 2013
People in India who walk or cycle to work are less likely to be overweight or obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure, a study has found.

Benefit of cycle helmet laws to reduce head injuries still uncertain, new study claims

May 14, 2013
The benefit of helmet legislation to reduce admissions to hospital for head injuries is "substantially uncertain," concludes a study published in BMJ today.

Recommended for you

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.