Keep cycling: how technology can support safe and comfortable cycling for older adults

Carola Engbers

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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    Abstract

    In the Netherlands cycling is important, there are even more bicycles than people. For the older population, cycling is one of the most important physical activities to remain healthy and mobile. Cycling contributes positively to health, mobility, and quality of life and staying mobile is crucial for maintaining a social life. However, older cyclists (60+) also have a higher risk of falling with their bicycle and sustaining a serious injury, compared to younger cyclists. Injury jeopardizes the mobility of this person, with severe consequences, such as depression and feelings of loneliness. Hence, prevention of bicycle accidents of older cyclists is obviously necessary.

    In this thesis, the main aim was to investigate how technology can support safe and comfortable cycling to support the older cyclists (60+) in traffic. In Chapter 1, the key research topics of this thesis are described, as different factors affect cycling. The first topic covers the characteristics of older cyclists. The second topic focusses on technology related to the bicycle to support older cyclists; what are their wishes and requirements and specifically, how do older people respond to these types of technologies. The third topic covers the interaction of cyclists with other road-users and the communication with them. ‘Safe and comfortable’ cycling, emerges in the overlapping area between the three topics. The following objectives are described as part of the main aim.

    Objective 1: To investigate demographic, physical and mental characteristics of elderly cyclists, and to explore which factors are associated with self-reported cycling accidents in the Netherlands.

    Objective 2: To investigate how technology can support safe and comfortable cycling for the older population.

    Objective 3: To improve the interaction between older cyclists and other road-users with technology.

    This thesis has generated knowledge on characteristics of the older cyclist and how technology can support safe and comfortable cycling for the older adult. Several factors were associated with self-reported falling of the bicycle; age, mental impairments, being less than completely confident and living in a rural environment. To compensate for some of
    these physical and mental impairments, assistive technology was developed to support the older cyclists in traffic. These supportive technologies have potential to lead to more
    comfortable cycling for the older adult, as the supportive devices were evaluated very positively. The advantages for the older cyclist are promising.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Rietman, Johan Swanik, Supervisor
    • de Waard, D., Supervisor
    • Dubbeldam, Rosemary , Co-Supervisor
    Award date27 Sep 2019
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-4848-9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2019

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