Research & reports

Title: cycle BOOM: Design for Lifelong Health and Wellbeing

Organisation: Oxford Brookes University
Date uploaded: 10th July 2018
Date published/launched: September 2017

A substantial shift in attitude towards planning for older mobility is required if cycling is to be embedded in the lives of an increasingly older population, according to this study.

Led by researchers from Oxford Brookes University, cycle BOOM was a three-year study to understand how cycling affects independence, health and wellbeing among the older generation.

The aim was to advise and inform policy makers and practitioners how the environment and technology could be designed to help people to continue to cycle in older age, or to ‘reconnect’ with cycling.

The study, carried out between October 2013 and September 2016, concludes that the majority of the older population are reluctant to cycle because they regard it as dangerous.

The report says cycling often becomes more difficult for people as they get older because of an ageing body, ‘unsupportive built environment’ and technology that is ill adapted to their needs.

Despite this, the study suggests that cycling remains ‘desirable’ to a small but significant minority of older people who are managing to prolong their cycling under ‘specific circumstances of their choosing’.

The study also concludes that the rise in availability and popularity of e-bikes offers the potential to encourage a significant number of retired people to cycle.

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