A study into the links between cycling and health, commissioned by the Driver Information and Traffic Management Division of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), has been carried out by TRL. The research included a review of existing literature, surveys of both adults and children, a review of cycling initiatives and an experiment to monitor the physical effects of taking up cycling. The particular benefits of cycling, as opposed to other forms of physical activity, have been examined. The review helps to identify those people most at risk from the results of low levels of physical activity, who might benefit from regular cycling, how readily they could accommodate cycling into their daily routine and assesses the extent to which these groups already cycle. In particular the study looks at cycling to school and work. The research team examined good practice in health promotion initiatives which have included a focus on cycling, and cycling initiatives which have included a focus on health promotion. A six-month experiment studied the effect, physical and behavioural, of regular cycling on a sample of males and females who did not previously cycle. Their physical condition, health status and attitudes were assessed before taking up regular cycling and at six weeks and six months after. (A)

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