Boffins study cycling in older age

A new three-year research project starting at Oxford Brookes University in October will investigate ways in which people can be encouraged and helped to cycle in older age.

Cycling accounts for just one per cent of journeys in the UK’s over-65 population, much lower than Netherlands (23 per cent), Denmark (15) and Germany (nine).

Tim Jones, Senior Research Fellow of the department of Planning at Oxford Brookes University, will be leading a team of researchers in the £1.4m study focused on whether cycling could play a more significant contribution to the mobility, health and wellbeing of the UK population.

The study will conduct biographic interviews and mobile interviews with people as they make a regular journey by bike, in order to capture and measure their experience.

There will also be an experimental trial of new electric bike users to measure how the growth of this assistive technology may affect wellbeing.

Mr Jones said: “It is a common misconception that older people don’t cycle or have no desire to do so. But having the option to ride a bicycle is a fantastic way of maintaining independence and community connections and in so doing potentially benefiting physical and mental health and wellbeing.”