Children,s cycling skills: Development of a test and determination of individual and environmental correlates

  • Cardon G
  • Ducheyne F
  • Lenoir M
 et al. 
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Background: Cycling is an enjoyable and accessible form of physical activity for children. However, safety issues are found to be strongly related to cycling behaviors and the quality of children,s cycling skills is found to play an important role in cycling accidents. Therefore, this study developed a test to gain a detailed insight into the cycling skills of 9-10 year old children and evaluated the relative contribution of individual and physical environmental factors in explaining variance in cycling skills. Methods: Children (n = 93; aged 9-10), from five primary schools in Flanders took a cycling test consisting of 13 test stations. In addition, parents completed a questionnaire on school commuting behavior and attitudes. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to investigate the factor structure of the cycling test and ICC,s were calculated to examine interrater reliability. Descriptive statistics were executed on children,s cycling skill scores. Independent t-tests and One-way ANOVA were performed to examine differences in cycling skills. Regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the relative influence of individual and environmental correlates to cycling skills. Results: Three factors were extracted: the 'during-cycling skills' the 'before/after-cycling skills, and a 'transitional-cycling skills, factor. These factors accounted for 56.74% of the total variance. Furthermore, ICC,s ranged from 0.75 to 0.98. For each cycling skill 25% of children scored higher than 8/10. For cycling a slalom, cycling over obstacles and dismounting the bicycle 50% of children scored maximum. For cycling in a straight line, looking over the left shoulder, cycling on a sloping surface and signaling, 10% of the children scored lower than 3/10. Additionally, 18.4% of children scored lower than 3/10 on at least two cycling skills. Parental perceived motor competence of the child explained 10% of the variance in cycling skills (beta = 0.33), residential density explained 12% of the variance (beta = -0.37). TV-watching (beta = -0.25) and family SES (beta = 0.21) were also significantly associated with children,s cycling skills. Conclusion: In order to get an overall picture of the cycling skills of children, the 'during-cycling skills' the 'before/after-cycling skills, and the 'transitional-cycling skills, need to be examined. Furthermore, Flemish children of the 4th grade scored well on cycling skills. However, cycle training programs should focus more on onehanded skills and those children scoring lower than three out of ten on one or more cycling skills. Furthermore, children living in a low walkable neighborhood and children with good motor competences rated by their parents scored better on cycling skill.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Student t test
  • accident
  • analysis of variance
  • bicycle
  • child
  • competence
  • density
  • environmental factor
  • factorial analysis
  • human
  • interrater reliability
  • parent
  • physical activity
  • primary school
  • questionnaire
  • regression analysis
  • safety
  • school
  • shoulder
  • skill
  • statistics
  • training

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  • PMID: 70968613


  • G Cardon

  • F Ducheyne

  • M Lenoir

  • I De Bourdeaudhuij

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