Study into cycling and disease needs YOU!

Short questionnaire could help understand fitness links to diabetes, heart disease and more

by Sarah Barth   March 2, 2013  

Commuter cyclist

One of the most comprehensive studies into the effect of cycling into health and disease in the UK is looking for your help.

Researchers at University College London are about to begin research in collaboration with the CTC into how riding your bike regularly affects your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

It will aim to find out if a particular amount, or intensity of exercise is most effective in warding off disease. People's cycling fitness will be compared against their overall health.

All regular cyclists are invited to take part, and for the purposes of this study, 'regular' means at least once a month.

The questionnaire here assesses your cycling fitness and overall heallth, and all the information will be held anonymously by UCL.

These are some of the important questions that you could be helping scientists to understand:

• How much cycling is necessary to reduce the risk of disease such as stroke, diabetes and cancer?
• What level of fitness is associated with reduced health risk?
• Who benefits the most from cycling?

The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and could win you £100 in cycling vouchers.

17 user comments

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Shame about the question in the middle about going though red lights. Nothing to do with the rest of the survey? Could be about how much risk you take, but could just ask that.

posted by Dr Ess [12 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 6:36

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It doesnt really take account of the fact that people rarely have a linear experience of cycling. Most of us do loads at some times in our life and less or even none at others. I'm on my 5th comeback - each less successful than the last.

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posted by andybwhite [135 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 13:44

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Dr Ess wrote:
Shame about the question in the middle about going though red lights. Nothing to do with the rest of the survey? Could be about how much risk you take, but could just ask that.

Agreed. That jarred a lot. Am waiting for them to get back to me querying why I'm still alive.

posted by sidesaddle [51 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 15:50

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andybwhite wrote:
It doesnt really take account of the fact that people rarely have a linear experience of cycling. Most of us do loads at some times in our life and less or even none at others. I'm on my 5th comeback - each less successful than the last.

Agreed. It was at this point in the questionaire that I quit, as my answers really weren't representative of my real experiences.

posted by Jonny_Trousers [38 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 15:59

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It's a tricky subject to capture; I spent years riding 250-300 miles a week to prepare for racing, but even then I would have weeks when I would do about 80 miles all in.

Now I do a similar amount of time, but over a much reduced distance, and if I work nights, I do no miles a week, yet on days aim for about 100-120.

It would be more interesting and informative to do a timeline based survey, detailing the way my/your activity changes through the years, and picking out the high points in terms of mileage/hours and the changes that naturally occur with age.

A pair of timelines, detailing cycling and health simultaneously would be best...

posted by crikey [79 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 16:28

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I agree that variability in mileage & hours seems too much to give a 'correct' answer, but it's a population survey so I suspect the answers will be binned into quite broad categories; don't sweat the details. Take the number of miles/km you did last year and divide by 12 - that'll be more than accurate enough. Ditto with hours per week - your miles per month divided by your averageish speed is going to be a reasonable answer.

The equipment used Q was dodgy too. I mostly use a helmet, but not always. I do have some hi-vis stuff, but sometimes wear black...

posted by 3cylinder [27 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 18:36

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I'm rather relieved that I wasn't the only one to have to try and guesstimate time spent in the saddle...even though I actually do log my commute times but all the other runs are just for the fun off it/getting about etc.

As to my weight, I know it's important for the study but strewth I haven't deliberately weighed myself since I was a teenager for a weigh in a for a Judo competition/grading....and that was a long time ago! Surprise

posted by Furry Mommy [22 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 19:15

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That is one badly designed questionnaire Confused

posted by woollee23 [76 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 19:51

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RLJing can give you cancer? Is this sponsored by the Daily Mail?

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posted by nowasps [131 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 21:48

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Perhaps the gurus at Road.cc could ask about the RLJ question!

posted by Myriadgreen [88 posts]
2nd March 2013 - 22:28

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It seemed to ask what my maximum weight had been but not my current weight?

posted by paulfg42 [312 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 0:11

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This is a really poor questionnaire. I think that have a hypothesis they are trying to prove, rather than gathering information about cycling habits and illness/injury. I can understand the question about the red light but I doubt that it will have a direct correlation with injury. The question about injury whilst cycling is also poor. 8 times out of 10 if you get injured cycling it's either lacerations or fractures, the more relevant question should have been about vehicle involvement as that will generally determine the severity of injury.

posted by MikeyPanther [1 posts]
3rd March 2013 - 13:14

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It's a bit shouty.

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posted by Iwein Dekoninck [90 posts]
4th March 2013 - 9:01

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I love the way all these surveys say it will only take 10 minutes to complete Surprise

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [402 posts]
4th March 2013 - 11:39

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I'm 46 and faster than my previous years by 2 minutes in the 10 mile TT. This year "time" will tell if fitness still gets better. I credit cycling with almost healing 2 compressed discs, bruisitis, smashed hips- both, elbows- both, mood- ALWAYS!! Cool Lance (the B-sample)

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posted by Lance Bumstrong [20 posts]
5th March 2013 - 20:01

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Just googled 'resting heart rate' and deeply chuffed to find that mine puts me in the 'athlete' category. Big Grin

That's really made my day, that has.

posted by RuthF28 [87 posts]
7th March 2013 - 13:02

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'are you vegetarian'.

where's the 'don't be ridiculous' option?

'sportif'?
none. Sportives, plenty.

shocking.

posted by andyp [440 posts]
7th March 2013 - 13:11

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