Purpose: This study describes the association between frequency of bicycling for active transportation and modifiable cardiometabolic risk factors in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul (MSP) metropolitan area. Design: We conducted an online survey from a convenience sample of likely bicycle commuters. Setting: Participants were e-mailed invitations including a link to the online survey. Participants: Participants (n = 1450, 15.6% response rate) were residents of the 7-county MSP metropolitan area aged 20 to 64 years. Measures: Participants reported frequency of commute and destination cycling from April to September and October to March, prevalent cardiometabolic risk factors, and demographic covariates. Analysis: We performed logistic regressions for associations between average weekly transportation bicycling and self-reported prevalent obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and high triglycerides. We used Poisson regression for the count of cardiometabolic risk factors. All models were adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking, alcohol consumption, and other physical activity, with random intercepts by zip code. Results: Self-reported bicycling frequency is associated with significantly lower odds of prevalent obesity, hypertension, and high triglycerides. Three bicycling trips per week is associated with 20% fewer (95% confidence interval: 12%-28%) cardiometabolic risk factors. Conclusion: Bicycling frequency is inversely associated with cardiometabolic risk factors. These results provide empirical support for the promotion of active transportation as public health policy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Minnesota Department of Transportation, NS-326.
- active living/built environment
- cardiovascular diseases
- metabolic syndrome X
- weight control