Few middle-aged and elderly people get enough exercise from sports or leisure-time physical activity. Therefore, the impact of everyday physical activity on health is a matter of interest. The main objective of this study was to establish whether bicycle use in everyday life is positively associated with health. A sample of 982 randomly selected men and 1,020 women age 50–70 were asked in a computer-assisted telephone interview to provide information including a self-assessment of their health and physical activity. Self-assessed health correlates positively with bicycle use in everyday life (OR = 1.257; 95% CI: 1.031–1.532). Likewise, people who regularly cycle for transport are less likely to have medical risk factors (OR = 0.794; 95% CI: 0.652–0.967). This negative correlation is not diminished when sporting activity is controlled for. This indicates that positive effects of physical activity on risk factors can be also achieved solely by integrating more physical activity into routine everyday life.
Huy and Gomolinsky are with the Dept. of Sports Science, University of Stuttgart, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany. Becker is with the Orthopedic Dept., Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany. Klein is with the Dept. of Sociology, University of Heidelberg, Germany. Thiel is with the Institute of Sports Science, University of Tuebingen, Germany.