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Bicyclists Deaths Associated with Motor Vehicle Traffic

August 17th, 2015 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Health | Tags:

Bicyclist Deaths Associated with Motor Vehicle Traffic — United States, 1975–2012, August 14, 2015

My takeaways:

  • many less children are riding bicycle now than in the past
  • mortality rate increase for 35-74 age group is less when compared to their increase in riding instances and time
  • choose route selection that decreases bicycle and motor vehicle interaction (use the Omaha area topography map and the Live Well Omaha map found on omahabikes.org)
  • infrastructure changes that segregate bicycles from motor vehicles needed as their numbers and speed increases (completestreetsomaha.org/)
  • education for best practices sharing the right-of-way is needed for people who ride and people who drive

Some observations from the CDC report:

  • For lower 48 states, annual mortality rate per 100,000 has dropped by half: 0.41 to 0.23
  • Nebraska mortality rate dropped from 0.29 to 0.08, 71.9% (Table)
  • Iowa mortality rate dropped from 0.31 to 0.15, 52.2% (Table)

Broken down into age groups, rates varied in magnitude and direction (Fig 2):

  • <15 has dropped from 1.18 to 0.09 per 100,000
  • 15-34 has dropped from 0.4 to 0.2 (visual estimate)
  • 35-54 has risen from 0.11 to 0.31 (currently highest rate)
  • 55-74 has risen from 0.15 to 0.3 (visual estimate)

 In 2012, males accounted for 87% of total bicycle deaths in the United States. This proportion increased over the 38-year study period, from 79% in 1977 to a peak of 90% in 2001.”

Although bicycles account for a relatively small share of trips across all modes of transportation, the share of total household trips taken by bicycle has doubled over the last 35 years, and in 2009, bicycling accounted for approximately 1% of trips in the United States (4). Recent years have seen the largest increase in bicycling; for instance, during 2000–2012, the number of U.S. workers who traveled to work by bicycle increased 61% (6). This growth is not uniform because most has occurred among men aged 25–64 years, whereas cycling rates have remained steady for women and have fallen among children (4).”

Several countries and some U.S. cities have higher bicycle use and lower mortality rates than the United States overall. Many have implemented multifaceted, integrated approaches to bicycling that address safety while also promoting cycling (1). Such approaches often include extensive bicycle infrastructure (e.g., physically separated bike lanes), traffic calming measures (e.g., speed humps), legal interventions (e.g., lowered speed limits), travel programs (e.g., safe routes to school), and education to encourage safe bicyclist and motorist behavior (1).”

 

Disconditioned?

August 16th, 2012 | Author: Sam
Category: Advocacy, Bike Lanes, Community, Health

I came across this article today on NPR.org that seems to offer a glimpse of the future: doctors prescribing exercise for a disconditioned body. The point: Exercise is a great way to prevent diseases and the medical industry needs to get on the ball about it. Both personal and community approaches can help. Keep biking, folks!

Sam

Should Lack Of Exercise Be Considered A Medical Condition?

Doctors need to prescribe exercise to patients who don't get enough exercise, a Mayo Clinic expert says.

by Eliza Barclay

“You’ve got a bad case of deconditioning,” the doctor says.

Actually, it would be the rare doctor who would say that to anyone. And though it might sound like something to do with hair, in fact, deconditioning is a familiar and more profound problem: the decidedly unnatural state of being physically inactive.

At some point in the last few decades, the human race went from being a species that is active most of the time to one that is increasingly sedentary. The Lancet recently called it an “inactivity pandemic,” responsible for 1 in 10 deaths worldwide. That’s a major shift, and a major public health problem, many researchers have pointed out. Inactivity is linked to heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.

Now Michael Joyner, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic, argues in a commentary out this month in the Journal of Physiology that one way to deal with the problem is to make physical inactivity a mainstream medical diagnosis. It’s one of the most common preventable causes of illness and death, and Joynes writes, there is “one universally effective treatment for it — exercise training.”

Shots [the NPR series in which this article appears] called up Joyner to get him to elaborate a little more on just why doctors need to get more involved with this problem.

“The entire medical research industrial complex is oriented towards inactivity,” he tells us. Insurance companies will reimburse patients for pills for diseases related to inactivity, but rarely for gym memberships. “Physicians really need to start defining the physically active state as normal,” he says.

Joyner says that he thinks about 30 percent of the responsibility to fight inactivity should fall on the medical community. “Physicians need to interact with patients about being active, and they need to write prescriptions for exercise,” he says.

He points to two of the greatest public health triumphs of the 20th century — improvements in traffic safety and the decline in smoking rates — as models for how we should tackle the inactivity epidemic. About one-third of the behavior change came from individuals who started using seat belts and car seats, and those who quit smoking, and doctors directly influenced that, he says. The rest was up to the public health community — to enact indoor smoking bans and harsh drunken driving laws — that helped support the right behavior.

For inactivity, doctors can push patients to get exercise, and cities and towns can make it easier for them to do it, he says, with more bike lanes and parks that can be an alternative to the gym.

Joyner says he increasingly sees two types of patients in his clinic: the ones who follow health guidelines and keep active; and those whose don’t and see no connection between their behavior and their health outcomes.

“We have to be more innovative and creative to figure out how to help the people who aren’t empowered to exercise for their health,” he says.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/08/15/158831652/should-lack-of-exercise-be-considered-a-medical-condition

August 16, 2012

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