Health Promot J Austr 2019 Apr 19. Epub 2019 Apr 19.
World Safety Organisation Collaborating Centre for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld, Australia.
Issue Addressed: Cycling participation rates in Australia and Queensland remain low. Rural residents typically do not have distinct cycling infrastructure available for use. Investigating current cycling participation and barriers to cycling engagement will inform future work to promote cycling engagement.
Methods: Data were collected through the inclusion of cycling-related questions in the 2012 Queensland Social Survey.
Results: The majority of the sample had not cycled in the previous 12 months (66%; n = 831). Significantly more rural residents reported not cycling due to environmental concerns (P < 0.05) and preferring other modes of transport or exercise (P < 0.01). Rural cyclists (31.4%; n = 113) had higher levels of cycling engagement in the previous week (41.6% to 32.6% urban; χ = 7.83; n = 420; P < 0.05) but lower cycling durations than urban cyclists (41.6% rural residents cycling for 30+ minutes vs 57.4% urban residents; χ = 8.25; n = 418; P < 0.01). Rural cycling engagement was independently associated with being male (OR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.40-3.91); sufficient physical activity engagement (OR = 1.86; 95% CI = 1.10-3.15); and having children at place of residence (1-2 children: OR = 3.21; 95% CI = 1.88-5.49; 3+ children: OR = 3.01; 95% CI = 1.17-7.75).
Conclusions: One-third of all adults cycled in the previous 12 months irrespective of location; however reasons for not cycling varied by urban/rural location. Results indicate that environmental factors appear to be inhibiting cycling participation in rural areas. Advocating for government commitment for infrastructure development to support safe cycling across Queensland including outside of metropolitan areas is required. SO WHAT?: This research explores self-reported cycling engagement amongst a sample of urban and rural dwelling Queenslanders. Differences in cycling exposure and reasons for lack of engagement offer insights into what may encourage greater cycling participation.