Bicycling to school is associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness than being driven or taking the bus.

In this study researchers looked at the effects of recreational cycling activity.

They used seven-day recall data from 5578 kids, aged 10-15 years, to compare frequency of recreational cycling with cardiorespiratory fitness (measured using the 20-m shuttle run test and classified as “fit” or “unfit” per FITNESSGRAM standards).

Compared to the kids who reported no recreational cycling activity in the past week (26% of the boys and 46% of the girls) occasional recreational cyclists were 30% (boys) to 41% (girls) more likely to be “fit” and regular recreational cyclists were 55% (girls) to 58% (boys) more likely to be “fit.”

The relationships remained after adjusting for kids who also bicycled to school. The results suggest encouraging recreational bicycling among children and teens may be an effective way to boost fitness, especially since it is more commonly available to children than bicycling to school is, and doing so could potentially serve as a way to gain cycling confidence and establish healthy activity habits.

Now choose the best bike for your lifestyle!