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The Start2Bike program is effective in increasing health-enhancing physical activity

Ooms, L., Veenhof, C., Bakker, D.H. de
BMC Public Health, 17: 606, DOI: 10.1186/s12889-017-4523-1

The Start2Bike program is effective in increasing health-enhancing physical activity : a controlled study


The sports club is seen as a new relevant setting to promote health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) among inactive population groups. Little is known about the effectiveness of strategies and activities implemented in the sports club setting on increasing HEPA levels. This study investigated the effects of Start2Bike, a six-week training program for inactive adults and adult novice cyclers, on HEPA levels of participants in the Netherlands. To measure physical activity, the Short QUestionnaire to ASsess Health-enhancing physical activity was used (SQUASH). Start2Bike participants were measured at baseline, six weeks and six months. A matched control group was measured at baseline and six months. The main outcome measure was whether participants met the Dutch Norm for Health-enhancing Physical Activity (DNHPA: 30 min of moderate-intensity activity on five days a week); Fit-norm (20 min of vigorous-intensity activity on three days a week); and Combi-norm (meeting the DNHPA and/or Fit-norm). Other outcome measures included: total minutes of physical activity per week; and minutes of physical activity per week per domain and intensity category. Statistical analyses consisted of McNemar tests and paired t-tests (within-group changes); and multiple logistic and linear regression analyses (between-group changes). Start2Bike positively influences HEPA levels of participants by increasing participation in sport. A relatively short sporting program, offered by a sports club, can be used to encourage less active people to engage in and continue sport at HEPA levels. Overall, sport can contribute to health through increased HEPA and the sports club can serve as a setting to stimulate this.

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