CHHM's Active Street Active People Team study cycling and older adults
They found that one of the major challenges facing the frowing population of older adults in Canada is a decline in mobility. Physcial activity from an active lifestyle (e.g. walking, bicycling) has a protective effect on future decline in mobility.
Bicycling for everyday trips such as errands and social outing is an affordable and sustainable way to build activity into daily routines. Moreover, bicycling for transportation can support independent travel when driving becomes a less feasible option with age.
Unfortunately, evidence suggests that older adults do not often bicycle, at least
not in North America. In the Metro Vancouver, cycling mode share was a mere 0.5% for those aged 56 - 79, and 0.2% for those 80+. Yet data from other cities with similar climates and cultres suggest regular cycling is both possible and popular amongst older adults. In Netherlands, cycling mode share is common across the lifespan with those aged 65 and older making approximately 25% of their trips by bicycle. Given this gap, it is of interest to understand determinants of cycling behaviours in older adults.
Active Streets, Active People: interdisciplinary research team (UBC/SFU/VCHRI) – neighbourhood design / lifespan health & mobility / knowledge translation / fun. Read their blog.