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Journal of Environmental and Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 686412, 6 pages
Research Article

Two Pilot Studies of the Effect of Bicycling on Balance and Leg Strength among Older Adults

1Prevention Research Collaboration, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
2University of Sydney, Council on The Ageing (NSW), Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
3New South Wales Ministry of Health, Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060, Australia
4University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown Campus, Campbelltown, NSW 2560, Australia

Received 5 February 2013; Accepted 26 March 2013

Academic Editor: Hua Fu

Copyright © 2013 Chris Rissel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. Study 1 examines whether age-related declines in balance are moderated by bicycling. Study 2 tests whether regular cycling can increase leg strength and improve balance. Methods. Study 1: a cross-sectional survey of 43 adults aged 44–79 was conducted. Leg strength was measured, and Balance was measured using the choice stepping reaction time (CSRT) test (decision time and response time), leg strength and timed single leg standing. Study 2: 18 older adults aged 49–72 were recruited into a 12-week cycling program. The same pre- and postmeasures as used in Study 1 were collected. Results. Study 1: participants who had cycled in the last month performed significantly better on measures of decision time and response time. Study 2: cycling at least one hour a week was associated with significant improvements in balance (decision time and response time) and timed single leg standing. Conclusions. Cycling by healthy older adults appears promising for improving risk factors for falls.