A Cross-Sectional Examination of the Physical Fitness and Selected Health Attributes of Recreational All-Terrain Vehicle Riders and Off-Road Motorcyclists

Prepared by Jamie F. Burr, Veronica K. Jamnik, and Norman Gledhill of York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This study found that habitual off-road vehicle riders had physiological characteristics that were equivalent, or slightly superior, to members of the general population on important fitness and health variables.


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The aims of this study were: (1) to characterize selected fitness and health attributes of two types of habitual recreational offroad vehicle riders – off-road motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders; (2) to explore differences among riders in terms of vehicle type, age, and gender; and (3) to compare the fitness and health of riders to population norms and clinical health standards. Canadian off-road riders (n ¼ 141) of both sexes aged 16 years and over were recruited through local and national off-road riding organizations. Anthropometry, fitness, and health measures of off-road motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle riders were compared with population norms, health standards, and physical activity guidelines. Off-road motorcycle riders had above average aerobic fitness (79th percentile), while all-terrain vehicle riders were lower than average (40th percentile). All riders had a healthy blood lipid profile and a low incidence of the metabolic syndrome (12.9%) compared with members of the general population. Off-road motorcycle riders had healthier body composition and fitness than all-terrain vehicle riders; however, the body composition of off-road motorcycle riders was no healthier than that of the general population and all-terrain vehicle riders were worse than the general population. Off-road motorcycle riders had healthier anthropometry and fitness than all-terrain vehicle riders and thus fewer health risk factors for future disease, demonstrating that the physiological profiles of off-road riders are dependent on vehicle type.

Published July 21, 2010

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