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Prev Med. 2008 Jan;46(1):77-9. Epub 2007 Jul 14.

Comparison of cyclists' and motorists' utilitarian physical activity at an urban university.

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  • 1Walking Research Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA.



Preliminary comparison of cyclists and motorists on: (1) distance lived from campus and, (2) the impact of transportation mode on physical activity.


A purposive sample of students (n=50; cyclists=26, motorists=24) living <5 miles from Arizona State University campus wore an accelerometer and completed a travel log for two on-campus days during fall 2005-spring 2006. Residence distance to campus was calculated by geocoded addresses (n=45; cyclists=23 vs. motorists=22). Final outcome variables were: distance lived from campus, accelerometer time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, steps/day, total time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (logged minutes cycling+accelerometer-derived moderate-to-vigorous physical activity), and minutes total active commuting (logged walking+cycling).


Groups were significantly different for: distance lived from campus (cyclists=0.6+/-0.6 vs. motorists=2.0+/-1.1 miles; p<0.000); steps/day (cyclists=11,051+/-4295 vs. motorists=9174+/-3319; p=0.046); total time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (cyclists=85.7+/-37.0 vs. motorists=50.3+/-23.8 minutes; p<0.001); minutes in motorized transport (cyclists=24.9+/-27.5 vs. motorists=61.6+/-32.9; p<0.001); and total active transport (cyclists=59.4+/-32.4 vs. motorists=29.5+/-20.0; p<0.001).


Among students living within 5 miles of campus, cyclists lived relatively closer to campus, accumulated more minutes of physical activity, and spent more time in active transportation than students who used motorized means.

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