Cycle training and factors associated with cycling among adolescents in England.
Journal of transport & health 2020 ; 16: 100815.
PubMed ID : 32382501
PMCID : PMC7197752
Cycling has the potential to encourage physical activity as well as advancing societal goals such as reducing carbon emissions; encouraging cycling is therefore a policy goal in many contexts. We analysed individual level data from the whole of England on factors associated with cycling among adolescents, including cycle training delivered by the age of 11 years in primary schools.
Data came from the nationally representative Millennium Cohort Study collected when participants were aged 13-15 years (adolescents). We assessed frequency of cycling at least once per week (regular cycling) and used logistic regression to assess how this differed across characteristics including demographic, health and environmental factors, as well as receiving cycle training (') in primary school.
We found that 21.0% of adolescents cycled at least once per week. In fully adjusted analyses, this was more common among boys than girls (32.5% vs. 9.4%, p < 0.001), and those in rural areas than urban areas (24.9% vs. 20.3%, p < 0.001). Adolescents in areas with higher prevalence of adult cycle commuting were more likely to cycle regularly (26.1% in high cycling areas vs. 19.3% in low cycling areas, p < 0.001). Participants offered cycle training in primary school were not more likely to cycle regularly as adolescents (21.7% vs. 22.3%, p = 0.528).
Approximately one in five adolescents in England cycles regularly, although being offered cycle training in primary school was not linked to greater cycling. Many of the factors associated with adolescent cycling are similar to those for adults and adolescents are more likely to cycle in areas with higher levels of adult cycling.