Commuter cycling in Flanders

Sebastiaan De Geus, Jolien Joncheere, Inne Aerts, Joke Breynaert, S. Hellemans, Romain Meeusen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


    On population level, the substantial health-enhancing potential of physical activity can be accomplished preferentially by incorporating physical activity into the daily life routine. Physical active commuting to work (PACW) provides a promising mode for such activity. However, before PACW can be recommended, some questions have to be answered. The Policy Research Centre Sport, Physical Activity and Health, funded by the Flemish Government started a four year project were several research questions concerning PACW were put forward: (1) does a substantial number of people within the Flemish working population have motivational and practical possibilities for PACW?; (2) what are the factors favouring or hindering PACW?; (3) and is there a difference in perception between those who cycle to work on a regular basis, and those who never cycle to work?; (4) what is the effect of cycling to work on physical and psychological parameters; (5) is there a dose-response relation between the energy expenditure and the measured physical and psychological parameters; and (6) what is the intensity of cycling to work at a self-chosen intensity? In order to answer the first three questions a self-administrated questionnaire was used. The questionnaire inquired about certain factors such as distance and frequency of travelling to work, demographic and anthropometric data, psychosocial factors, environment and transport. To investigate the possible effects of commuter cycling on physical performance and functional status and the quality of life, an one year intervention study was set up in Flanders. Sixty-five untrained subjects cycled to work at least three times a week to their workplace over a one-way distance of minimum two kilometres. All subjects were tested on three occasions in order to measure their maximal aerobic capacity and maximal external power. During the same day a RAND Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaire was filled in to assess functional status and well-being or quality of life and venous blood samples were collected after overnight fasting for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid and CRP. In order to calculate the dose, cycling data (frequency, distance, and duration) and participation in physical activities (type, duration and intensity) were recorded and written down in dairies during the whole period. To answer the last question, a field study was set up to investigate what the intensity is of cycling to work on its own pace and whether this spontaneously selected physiological loading meets the requirements of HEPA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts of the 11th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    Event11th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science - Lausanne, Switzerland
    Duration: 5 Jul 20068 Jul 2006


    Conference11th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
    Abbreviated titleECSS 2006

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