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Tom Cole-Hunter, Lidia Morawska and Colin Solomon

Background:

An increase in bicycle commuting participation may improve public health and traffic congestion in cities. Information on air pollution exposure (such as perception, symptoms, and risk management) contributes to the responsible promotion of bicycle commuting participation.

Methods:

To determine perceptions, symptoms, and willingness for specific exposure risk management strategies of exposure to air pollution, a questionnaire-based cross-sectional investigation was conducted with adult bicycle commuters (n = 153; age = 41 ± 11 years; 28% female).

Results:

Frequency of acute respiratory signs and symptoms were positively associated with in-commute and postcommute compared with precommute time periods (P < .05); there was greater positive association with respiratory disorder compared with healthy, and female compared with male, participants. The perception (but not signs or symptoms) of in-commute exposure to air pollution was positively associated with the estimated level of in-commute proximity to motorized traffic. The majority of participants indicated a willingness (which varied with health status and gender) to adopt risk management strategies (with desired features) if shown to be appropriate and effective.

Conclusions:

While acute signs and symptoms of air pollution exposure are indicated with bicycle commuting, and more so in susceptible individuals, there is willingness to manage exposure risk by adopting effective strategies with desired features.

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Stephen Streator and William E. Buckley

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Brian Anderson and Ashley Par

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Brian A. Turner

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Thomas E. Bernard

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Randall W. Dick

Column-editor : Scott R. Sailor

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Christine Dallaire, Louise Lemyre, Daniel Krewski and Laura Beth Gibbs

In Canada, as in other neo-liberal states, a physically active lifestyle is discursively constructed as a moral activity, whereas a sedentary lifestyle is criticized as a failure to take charge of one’s health (Bercovitz, 2000; Lupton, 1997). This study aims to understand how Canadian men and women articulate the discursive connections between physical activity and health risks and how those connections are reflected in their reported behaviors. Analysis shows that some of the 37 men and 36 women interviewed not only “talk the talk” regarding physical activity, they also claim to lead an active lifestyle. However, “active” participants were disciplined into frequent physical activity not simply by the discursive effects of the fitness mantra promising better health, but because they enjoyed it. Conversely, the not-active-enough participants were unwilling to fully comply with the requirements of the fitness discourses because they found no pleasure in “exercise.” Despite adopting physical activity as a key strategy to manage their health risks, interviews revealed that the latter group were not docile bodies (Foucault, 1995).

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Elizabeth Swann and W. David Carr