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J Sci Med Sport. 2006 May;9(1-2):151-6. Epub 2006 Mar 31.

Encouraging cycling through a pilot cycling proficiency training program among adults in central Sydney.

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New South Wales (NSW) Public Health Officer Training Program, NSW Health Department, NSW, Australia.


In the face of declining population levels of physical activity, programs that encourage cycling represent an under-developed strategy in Australia. In 2003, we implemented a pilot cycling proficiency training (CPT) program for adults in central Sydney, New South Wales. To evaluate the program, participants completed pre- and post-course self-administered questionnaires and participated in a follow-up telephone interview 2 months after their course. Between April and December 2003, 20 CPT courses were conducted. Of 113 people who started a course, 81 (72%) completed at least one course (beginner or intermediate) and 105 (93%) took part in the pre and follow-up interview. Participant satisfaction with all aspects of the course was high. At 2-month follow-up, the course had significantly increased participants' self-reported skills and confidence for cycling. More than half of the participants (56%) said they cycled more 2 months after the course. There was a 40% increase in participants having cycled in the previous week at follow-up among baseline non-cyclists, although this was not statistically significant. There was also a significant increase in weekly participation in other forms of moderate intensity physical activity. Overall, the program was reasonably successful, particularly among those people not cycling at baseline. Cycling proficiency training for adults is one strategy that can supplement other active transport policies to encourage physical activity, although bicycle friendly urban planning and policies are still required to create more supportive environments for cyclists.

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