Abstract

This article provides an overview of cycling, including fatalities and bicycle helmet use, based on data from the 1994/1995 National Population Health Survey, the 2013/2014 Canadian Community Health Survey and the Vital Statistics–Death Database. In 2013/2014, an estimated 7.0 million Canadians aged 12 or older (24%) reported cycling in the previous three months, compared with 6.5 million (29%) in 1994/95. The prevalence of cycling declined with age, and was more common among males and people living in higher-income and -education households. From 1994 through 2012, 1,408 cyclists were killed, an average of 74 annually, most of whom were male (84%). In 2013/2014, 45% of those who had cycled in the past three months reported that they always wore a helmet.

Keywords

Cyclists, fatalities, head protective devices, health surveys, mortality, population-based, prevalence, vital statistics

Findings

The health benefits of physical activity, including cycling, are widely recognized. In an era when nearly a third of children and youth and just under two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, cycling for leisure or transport is a valuable form of exercise. Cycling is also good for the environment―commuting by bicycle helps to alleviate road congestion and noise pollution and reduces emissions. [Full Text]

Authors

Pamela L. Ramage-Morin (Pamela.Ramage-Morin@canada.ca) is with the Health Analysis Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.

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