Current Students and Staff

// University News

22 Sep 2015

Study shows Cycle Network gets people on their bikes

The National Cycle Network is encouraging more people to cycle more often according to figures unveiled by Loughborough researchers.

Professor Paul Downward from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and Dr Simona Rasciute from the School of Business and Economics studied entries from Sport England’s Active People Survey (APS) and found proximity to the Network was a strong driver for regularly taking part in moderate intensity recreational cycling for 30 minutes or more, as well as short cycle commutes.

And people who cycled recreationally were also more likely to take part in other forms of physical activity. 

The study also found:

  • Cyclists are far more active than non-cyclists, undertaking almost 30% more minutes of walking and 80% more minutes of sports participation.

  • Cyclists are more likely to be white British, be in work or studying, have a higher education, and be younger and male.

  • Family life reduces the likelihood of utilitarian cycling (i.e. commuting) but the presence of children can increase the potential for recreational cycling.   

  • Utilitarian cycling is closely linked to increased walking time.

Lead researcher Professor Downward said: 

“It is clear that the National Cycle Network has a strong effect on the amount of time people spend cycling, whether that’s for recreational or transport purposes.

“Not only does greater access to the Network imply that people cycle for longer, but they also cycled more frequently.

“Our data shows the potential of the Network in helping encourage people to be more active and lead healthier lifestyles.”

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