The effect on cardiorespiratory fitness after an 8-week period of commuter cycling--a randomized controlled study in adults

Prev Med. 2011 Sep;53(3):172-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jun 25.


Objective: This study investigated the effect of commuter cycling on cardiorespiratory fitness in men and women. Secondary outcomes included body fat and blood pressure measurements.

Methods: In February 2009, 48 volunteers from the Island of Funen, Denmark were randomly assigned to either "no change in lifestyle" or to "minimum 20 minutes of daily commuter cycling during 8 weeks". Maximal oxygen uptake was assessed directly during a progressive cycle-ergometer-test, sum of skinfolds was used as an estimate of body fat, and blood pressure was measured using a Dinamap monitor. Measurements were obtained at baseline and at the conclusion of the 8-week intervention program.

Results: Six cyclists dropped out. After 8 weeks VO(2)max (mL O(2) min(-1)) and cardiorespiratory fitness (mL O(2) kg(-1) min(-1)) were significantly improved in the cycling group when compared to the control group. Delta change in VO(2)max between groups equaled 206 mL O(2) min(-1) (p=0.005) and delta change in cardiorespiratory fitness equaled 2.6 mL O(2) kg(-1) min(-1) (p=0.003). Body fatness changed more noticeable (p=0.026) in the cyclists (-12.3±7.3 mm) than in the controls (-0.2±7.1 mm).

Conclusions: VO(2)max and cardiorespiratory fitness were significantly improved and body fat reduced as a result of people engaging in 8 weeks of commuter cycling.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adult
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular System*
  • Denmark
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Respiratory System*
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Transportation*