Cycling Without Age: Assessing the Impact of a Cycling-Based Initiative on Mood and Wellbeing

Ryan Gray, Alan J. Gow

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Objective: Cycling Without Age is a global initiative in which trained volunteers take adults living in care homes or supported housing environments out on specially designed trishaws. Despite its global success, there is limited research on the effect the initiative has on the older adults taking part. The current study therefore assessed changes in mood and wellbeing to determine whether there were short-term benefits of participation. Methods: Forty-nine older adults (69% female; 67–100 years old (M = 84.1, SD = 7.6)) living in care homes and supported housing environments were recruited; 35 participants completed all measures and comprise the analytical sample. Participants completed the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale and UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist immediately before a ride (baseline); they repeated the measures on completion of the ride (follow-up). Participants also completed baseline and follow-up measures on a day in which they did not go on a ride. Mixed ANOVA compared differences in baseline and follow-up mood and wellbeing scores on ride and no ride days. Results: For all mood and wellbeing measures, there were significant interactions between day (ride or no ride) and measurement occasion (baseline or follow-up). Analyses revealed significant improvement in mood and wellbeing at follow-up on ride days versus no ride days. Conclusion: Short-term positive changes in mood and wellbeing were reported as a result of participation in the Cycling Without Age initiative for older adults in care home and supported living environments. Further research is needed to explore the longevity of benefits and longer-term changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2020


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