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Recreational Cycling and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in English Youth

MAHER, MARK S and VOSS, CHRISTINE and OGUNLEYE, AYODELE A and MICKLEWRIGHT, DOMINIC and SANDERCOCK, GAVIN RH (2012) 'Recreational Cycling and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in English Youth.' Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44 (3). pp. 474-480. ISSN 0195-9131

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PURPOSE: Schoolchildren who cycle to school have higher cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) than those who are driven or use public transport. The purpose of this study was to determine whether recreational cycling is similarly associated with CRF. METHODS: Participants were 5578 (54% males) English schoolchildren (10.0-15.9 yr). All reported frequency of recreational cycling events via 7-d recall. Responses were categorized as follows: "noncyclists" = 0, "occasional cyclists" = 1-4, or "regular cyclists" = 5+ (times per week). CRF was assessed using the 20-m shuttle run test with performance classified as "fit" or "unfit" based on FITNESSGRAM standards. RESULTS: Overall, 26% of males and 46% of females were noncyclists. Compared with noncyclists, the 40% of males and 42% of females classified as occasional cyclists were more likely to be fit (males: odds ratio (OR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07-1.59; females: OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.13-1.76). Regular cyclists (34% males and 12% females) had a greater likelihood still of being classified as fit (males: OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.29-1.95; females: OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.09-2.20). No odds remained significant after adjusting for physical activity. Removal of participants who cycled to school had little overall effect on the likelihood of being classified as being fit. CONCLUSIONS: Previous research has focused only on young people's commuter cycling habits, at the expense of the more common activity of recreational cycling. Recreational cycling may provide an alternative target for interventions to increase physical activity and improve CRF youth. Recreational cycling could potentially serve as a way to gain cycling confidence and establish habits that act as precursors to commuter cycling. © 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 12:53
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2022 23:51

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